A new emergency lockdown plan could be enforced across northern England and London in the coming days, the Times reports.

In order to combat a second wave of the pandemic, ministers are said to be preparing a second lockdown for certain parts of the country, which would see all pubs, bars and restaurants closed for an initial two-week period.

Households would also be banned indefinitely from meeting each other in any indoor location, but schools, shops, factories and offices would stay open.

The proposal was initially presented at the cabinet’s covid-19 strategy committee ahead of last week’s new restrictions announcement, but was rejected by a group of six ministers led by Boris Johnson, according to the Times.

“The nation and the party wasn’t ready for us to go any further last week,” said a senior government source. “There wasn’t a wide enough understanding of how substantial the second wave could be. Unlike the first lockdown, nobody has seen pictures of body bags in Spain or France on the TV yet, which had a very powerful effect. You have to take people with you.

“Tougher measures on social interaction will have to come though. They’re inevitable in some parts if you look at the numbers.”

Officials have suggested the first total lockdowns were likely to be imposed in Merseyside and the northeast, but the likes of Greater Manchester and Leeds are also being considered.

The speculation comes following the first weekend of the government’s 10pm curfew, the effectiveness of which is already in doubt following packed city-centre streets on Friday and Saturday and confirmation from the government’s Sage committee that they had not modelled nor recommended it.