Boris Johnson's hopes of saving Christmas have been dashed after experts warned all of England must be under severe Tier 3 lockdown by mid-December, it has been claimed.
The Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies reportedly predict coronavirus cases across the country will soon have succeeded the levels in areas already in the highest category.
With the group's latest modelling suggesting 25,000 people will be in hospital by the end of next month, exceeding the amount during the pandemic's peak in April.
In comparison, 9,199 Covid-19 patients were in England's hospital on Tuesday - while the UK saw its highest daily death toll since May 27 with 367 fatalities.
Around 200 deaths each day have been put down to the virus in Britain over the last week, a figure the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said wouldn't be reached until the middle of November.
A government source told The Sun: "The latest Sage numbers are utterly bleak."
The Prime Minister had hoped his three-tier approach to restrictions, targeting virus hotspots for tougher lockdowns, would allow for the country to return to some normality by the festive period.
The warnings arrive amid reports Mr Johnson is facing a 'red wall' revolt with over 50 Tory MPs demanding a tailored recovery plan for the North of England.
The demands come as the Government prepares to plunge eight million people into the toughest coronavirus restrictions.
Downing Street officials have confirmed four separate parts of Nottinghamshire will be subjected to Tier 3 lockdowns from midnight on Wednesday - the latest region in England to be imposed with the severest restrictions.
A letter to the PM from the newly-formed alliance of Conservative MPs the Northern Research Group demands a post-pandemic economy plan and a roadmap out of lockdown.
More than 50 Conservative MPs from the newly-formed Group, drawn from the constituencies which the Tories won from Labour at last December’s general election, wrote to the PM calling for a post-coronavirus plan.
Group leader Jake Berry, the former Northern Powerhouse minister, fears the North-South divide will only get wider and send the North "into reverse" unless decisive action is taken.