THE Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly considering a 'circuit breaker' lockdown over the half-term period if the Government's "three-tier" system fails to slow the spread of Covid-19.

It comes as new restrictions across the entire North-East came into force at midnight, with rules on mixing with other households now uniform across every council area in the region.

What you CAN and CANNOT do in the North-East under new rules today

The Telegraph is reporting that Downing Street is considering further steps, which would put the country under a similar lockdown to the one in March, as the PM faces calls to take further action.

Yesterday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said a two to three-week national lockdown over the October half term was needed to prevent a “sleepwalk into a long and bleak winter”.

A paper by members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) reportedly calculates that more than 7,000 lives could be saved if schools are closed and people are ordered to stay at home from October 24 for two weeks.

The Times said the modelling suggested that coronavirus deaths for the rest of the year could be reduced from 19,900 to 12,100, with hospital admissions cut from 132,400 to 66,500.

If schools and shops remained open, the death toll could be cut to 15,600, it reported.

It comes after Sir Keir used a televised press conference to warn that the PM was “no longer following the scientific advice” by proposing “far less stringent restrictions” than suggested by Sage.

More than half (54 per cent) of people surveyed by YouGov on Tuesday felt the Government should have introduced a national lockdown in September, while 28 per cent of the 4,222 adults polled disagreed.

The Telegraph reported that Downing Street would take steps to force the majority of businesses to close if the three-tier lockdown system did not show any improvements to Covid-19 infection rates.

Labour leader Sir Keir told reporters on Tuesday: “There’s no longer time to give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt. The Government’s plan simply isn’t working. Another course is needed.”

He said schools must stay open but that all pubs, bars and restaurants should be closed during the circuit-breaker, while firms are compensated so “no business loses out” in order to “break the cycle” of infection.

“If we don’t, we could sleepwalk into a long and bleak winter. That choice is now for the Prime Minister to make. I urge him to do so,” Sir Keir said.

He is likely to press the point when he questions the PM at PMQs in the Commons at noon.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said his party also backed a circuit-breaker, warning that “otherwise the cost to lives and livelihoods as well as to jobs in our communities may be too harsh to bear”.

And Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford told Times Radio he too was considering a “short, sharp intervention” – but that there remained “some very practical things that we’ve all got to think about”.

In Northern Ireland, the Stormont executive is understood to be considering a four-week lockdown that is not as widespread as that imposed in March.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said England’s tiered system would “give an idea” of a similar scheme she is developing, which could come into effect when stricter measures are due to be eased on October 25.