An extensive coronavirus lockdown is likely if there is an increase in infections this winter, warns the Health Secretary.
Matt Hancock has revealed a strict lockdown will be in place if there is a second-wave of the deadly bug.
The Health Secretary has also said restrictions may not be eased during the Christmas period in a bid to prevent a rise in coronavirus cases.
This comes as countries around the world such as Spain are on the brink of a second-wave.
Mr Hancock told The Times it was "a very serious threat".
However, he claimed the UK was able to keep its cases low through the track and trace system.
With the combination of the seasonal flu as well as coronavirus this winter, he said: "Cases go up again, and we have to use very extensive local lockdowns or take further national action.
"We don't rule that out, but we don't want to see it."
This comes as schools are reopening next week, which could cause cases to rises.
Covid-19 hotspots across UK mapped by advanced coronavirus tracking app
The UK’s chief medical officer has warned fully reopening schools could send the R rate above 1 and spark a potential second wave.
Speaking In an interview with ITV News, Mr Hancock said: "We're doing a huge amount of planning to make sure that the NHS is prepared and can cope to make sure that people can have as much freedom to enjoy Christmas, to enjoy winter, as possible."
While discussing the possibility of a rule over Christmas to allow people to visit each other, he said: "The danger of a rule like that is that it increases the spread of the disease.
"I mean, there are an awful lot of things I'd love to be able to do, but the risk of them is that we see an uptick in the disease.
"Hence, we've had to take decisions that you wouldn't ever want to."
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