Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the perceived 'stranger danger' of Covid-19 is not a real thing as people are more likely to get coronavirus from someone they know well.

Lockdown rules in place in parts of the UK include banning people from going to pubs after 10pm and stopping people mixing with people from other households.

There is speculation those rules could become national - alongside shielding for 4.5million vulnerable people.

The toughest rules could see venues locked down again - with everything closed except schools and workplaces.

Nationally, you cannot now meet in any setting in groups larger than six - with businesses responsible for enforcing that from Friday under threat of a £4,000 fine.

Mr Hancock said: “This is a big moment for the country.

“We are seeing an acceleration in the number of cases.

“And we are also seeing that the number of people hospitalised with coronavirus is doubling every eight days.

“We are now starting to see the effects in hospital.”

The Health Secretary said: “There’s two things that people really feel naturally that aren’t helpful.

“One is that people feel really naturally that they are more likely to catch this from a stranger, from somebody they don’t know.

“But, actually, most people catch it from somebody they know, and know well.

“And, the second thing is that if you have been in close contact with somebody who has tested positive you need to self-isolate for two weeks.

“And, it doesn’t matter whether you get a test result in that time because the virus incubates, you can’t then be released from that self-isolation.

“So, the self-isolation rules are so important as part of this and it is vital that people follow them.”

The Health Secretary said: “The strategy is to keep the virus down as much as is possible whilst protecting education and the economy.

“And doing everything we possibly can for the cavalry that’s on the horizon of the vaccine and mass testing, and the treatments that, frankly, this country has done more than any other around the world to develop.”