Could Tier 4 be declared on Boxing Day?
It's being reported that the mutant strain of coronavirus is already in Devon and that parts of the county could be upgraded to the highest level of restrictions within days.
On Wednesday morning he Daily Telegraph, the former employer of prime minister Boris Johnson and known to be well connected to the government, said that ministers are expected to announce that new hotspots could be moved into Tier 4 on Boxing Day.
The newspaper says: "Health officials [are] warning that the new variant of the virus is "bleeding" across boundaries. Hotspots of the mutation have been found in Cumbria and Devon."
It says the Devon hotspot centres on Plymouth.
Should the Telegraph be correct, it means ministers are considering moving some areas from Tier 2 to Tier 4. It could also mean an unusual situation in which Cornwall, in Tier 1, borders a Tier 4 area. The paper also says its government sources suggest a full national lockdown is likely in the new year.