Another national lockdown in England is the "last line of defense" but would happen if needed, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said, as he warned the UK was in a "very serious situation".
He told BBC Breakfast there had been an "acceleration" in cases in recent weeks and "we need to take action".
"It is absolutely critical that people follow the rules," he said, stressing the importance of the new "rule of six" in England, and the basics of wearing face coverings, washing hands and giving space to others.
If all of that is done, and if those who test positive isolate, "we can avoid having to take serious further measures", he added.
But, he stressed, national lockdowns can "keep people safe".
He said it was vitally important to have local lockdowns like the one that has come into force in the North East today - adding that he would be making an announcement about further action later. It's thought it could concern more measures for Lancashire.
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