He will drop his 'back to work' drive, announce restrictions on socialising and impose a 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants from Thursday.
Pubs and other venues will be allowed to serve seated customers only and drinkers will be banned from gathering in crowds. Chief medical officer Chris Whitty said yesterday it was crucial to break 'unnecessary links between households'.
Northern Ireland last night announced a ban on families visiting other households and there was speculation England could follow suit.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned Covid transmission 'tends to be in social settings, people coming around to your house, or you going out and socialising'.
The limit on guests at weddings may also be slashed from the current limit of 30. A senior Government source last night acknowledged the Prime Minister's 'back to work' drive would be paused after scientific advisers warned that workplace transmission was a concern.
In July, Mr Johnson urged staff to 'go back to work if you can' in a bid to prevent city centres becoming ghost towns.
But a source told the Mail that employees will be advised to 'work from home if you can' during the coming weeks.
The Prime Minister was reportedly set to shut down the entire hospitality sector after the Health Secretary and the Government's scientists began pushing hard for more draconian measures, according to The Times. It is understood that the Cabinet's economic hawks pulled him back from the brink.
The restrictions have divided the Cabinet, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma both warning about the potential impact on the economy. But a senior Government source insisted all ministers accepted the move was needed to bring the R-rate, which measures how fast the disease is spreading, back under control.