BORIS Johnson has said that a second wave of coronavirus has arrived in the UK.

The Prime Minister's warning comes after the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said that the R rate has risen to between 1.1 and 1.4 across the UK.

The number of cases reported every week in the country has risen from 800 at the start of August to almost 3,500 this week.

“There’s no question, as I’ve said for several weeks now, that we could expect (and) are now seeing a second wave coming in,” the PM said.

“We are seeing it in France, in Spain, across Europe – it has been absolutely, I’m afraid, inevitable we were going to see it in this country.”

And several areas in the north are preparing for new local restrictions in a bid to curb the rise in cases experienced in recent weeks.

In total, at least 13.5 people - around one in five - face some sort of restrictions, with the latest areas affected being parts of the Midlands, north west and north east.

The latest restrictions in the north affect a number of areas and different restrictions apply in different places.

  • Residents are not allowed to socialise between different households, except support bubbles, in: Lancashire (excluding Blackpool); Merseyside, Warrington and Halton; Wolverhampton, Oadby and Wigston; and Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale.
  • Pubs must only offer table service, and close between 10pm and 5am, in: Lancashire (excluding Blackpool); and Merseyside, Warrington and Halton.
  • Public transport is to be used only for "essential purposes" in: Lancashire (excluding Blackpool); and Merseyside, Warrington and Halton.
  • Residents are asked to avoid going to amateur or semi-professional sports events as spectators in: Lancashire (excluding Blackpool); and Merseyside, Warrington and Halton.

Elsewhere in England, the 'rule of six' continues, meaning it is illegal for more than six people to meet up. This does not apply to schools, workplaces or leisure venues such as restaurants and pubs.

Ministers are thought to be considering a two-week national “circuit break”, an attempt to break the chain of transmission.

Yesterday, however, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock stressed the focus remained on local interventions, as he announced new restrictions for large parts of England’s North West, West Yorkshire and the Midlands.

He pointed to a worrying rise in cases, with Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire – excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester – escalated to “areas of intervention”.