THE Covid-19 alert level will be raised to five – the highest setting, Government sources revealed today.

The Prime Minister is set to make a televised address at 8pm tonight after coming under intense pressure to announce a new national lockdown.

He is also set to discuss emergency measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

Responding to news that a national lockdown is imminent, Labour’s candidate for Tees Valley Mayor, Jessie Joe Jacobs, said: “If, as is likely, England is set to be placed under tougher restrictions then the Government needs to ensure that people are supported financially as they were in the first national lockdown.

“This means rent and mortgage holidays, no cuts to Universal Credit, and further support for businesses and workers.

"There also needs to be support for the three million people who are currently excluded from Government support.

“It is vital we beat this virus and obvious that further restrictions are needed. But no one should risk losing their home or livelihood as a result of this pandemic, nor should they be pushed into debt and financial uncertainty.

"Tighter public health restrictions are needed – but they must come with a proper package of support.”