Boris Johnson is addressing the nation about a raft of strict new coronavirus rules. 

Earlier the prime minister had outlined a host of measures intended to stop the spread of Covid-19, including a curfew on pubs and restaurants, a U-turn encouraging working from home and the possibility of enlisting the military to help enforce restrictions. 

And from 8pm tonight, Mr Johnson made a direct appeal to the public to follow the new rules – his third direct address to the country on television since the pandemic began.

The First Ministers of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales earlier outlined similar new restrictions, as the UK recorded 37 deaths and nearly 5,000 new cases in the last 24 hours – some of the highest figures in months.

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Mr Johnson said common sense is the ‘single greatest weapon’ in the effort to suppress the virus, adding there had been ‘too many’ breaches of the rules.

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He said: ‘While the vast majority have complied with the rules there have been too many breaches – too many opportunities for our invisible enemy to slip through undetected.

‘The single greatest weapon we bring to this fight is the common sense of the people themselves – the joint resolve of this country to work together to suppress Covid now.’

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier, the PM unveiled the latest government crackdown on the virus, the day after top scientists warned the nation could face 50,000 new cases and 200 deaths a day by mid-October, unless swift action is taken. The public were also warned that ‘more drastic’ measures could be on the way if the latest move does not cut the R number. 

As fears of a second wave grew, Mr Johnson slashed the number of people allowed at weddings to 15, doubled the fine for not wearing masks and banned indoor sport. 

He warned that the new restrictions were likely to stay in place for six months. 

The PM advised people living in England to work from home in the speech this afternoon – just weeks after telling them it was safe to head back to the office.

And this evening, Mr Johnson warned that ‘your mild cough can be someone else’s death knell’.

The ‘rule of six’ will remain in place, with the number of mourners at funerals also not changing. 

On face masks, the PM explained that staff in retail, all users of taxis and staff and customers in indoor hospitality would have to wear coverings.

Plans to bring back fans to live sport events from October 1 have also been put on ‘pause’. 

Reported plans for a shorter, ’circuit breaker’ lockdown have not materialised. 

But, Mr Johnson told the public: ‘I must emphasise that if all our actions fail to bring the R (number) below one, then we reserve the right to deploy greater fire power with significantly greater restrictions.’

This is a breaking story – more to follow.

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MORE: New lockdown rules: Curfews, work from home and fines doubled under new restrictions