The restrictions could also be applied to the over-50s, with virus mortality rates significantly higher for the two groups. There are fears the coronavirus transition rate could increase significantly when schools start to return next month.
According to the Sunday Telegraph a lockdown aimed at the elderly and overweight could be part of a “more sophisticated model” in the event of a second wave.
Speaking to the paper a Cabinet minister said the plan was to have a “stiletto not a sledgehammer” approach to any future lockdowns.
Referring to the Government they commented: “They are understanding that age does come into it.
“The shielding cohort is way too broad – you can’t say that every fat person has to shield. It will be more subtle.”
Consequently advice for the over 50s and overweight to shield could be confined to parts of the country with a high transmission rate.
The Government fears a lot of transmission is taking place at indoor events when masks aren’t being worn, such as parties or family gatherings.
A minister warned: “The main transmission is through people getting a bit more relaxed – it is about you going round for dinner to see a friend you have not seen for ages.
“That is why it must be a micro-lockdown.”
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In an article for the Mail on Sunday he described this as a “national priority” and “moral duty”.
According to Sir David King, formerly a government chief scientific advisor, this could increase the R rate by as much as 0.5.
The R rate measures infection and if it goes above one it means the virus is spreading exponentially around the country.
Currently the R rate for most parts of the UK is a little under one.
A partial lockdown has been re-imposed on Preston after the R rate surged, meaning people are now banned from socialising with other households.
The chief executive of Preston Council, Adrian Phillips, claimed it is “alarming to see that the under-30s are contracting it at a significant rate”.
He added: “I know our director of public health has said ‘Don’t kill Granny’ to young people to try and focus the message.”
In total the UK has recorded more coronavirus cases and fatalities than any other European country, at 309,763 and 46,566 respectively.
The number of COVID-19 cases has been increasing in several European countries including Belgium which was recently added to the UK’s quarantine list.
This means anyone returning from Belgium to Britain will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.