Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned Britain is at a “tipping point” as he refused to rule out a second national coronavirus lockdown if the public fails to follow social distancing rules.

With cases rising across the country, Mr Hancock said there was a danger the numbers could “shoot through the roof” unless effective action was taken to halt the spread of the virus.

It comes following 350 new cases and five deaths in Scotland in the last 24 hours with the Scottish Health Secretary stating that Scotland could introduce new restrictions early this week. 

In the UK in total, there were 4,422 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

READ MORE: Coronavirus Scotland: Lockdown restrictions decision to be made early this week reveals Jeane Freeman

Speaking to the Andrew Marr Show, Matt Hancock said that hospital admissions for the disease were doubling “every eight days” and would be followed by an increase in the number of deaths.

“This country faces a tipping point."

“If everybody follows the rules – and we will be increasingly stringent on the people who are not following the rules – then we can avoid further national lockdowns.

“But we, of course, have to be prepared to take action if that’s what’s necessary.”

READ MORE: Angus Robertson slated for saying elderly deaths a 'gain' for independence amid pandemic

During a round of broadcast interviews, Mr Hancock said the Government had taken the decision to impose a legal duty on people to self-isolate if instructed as the data showed some were failing to do so.

At the same time ministers have said people on benefits in England will be eligible for a one off support payment of £500 if they face a loss of earnings as a result of being required to self-isolate.

Mr Hancock told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: “We will support people who do the right thing and we will come down hard on people who do the wrong thing.”

In Scotland, police have the ability to issue fixed penalty notices of £30, rising to £60, for those who break restrictions.

Ms Freeman said: "We do not win people to comply with these kind of measures for the duration we need them to without offering significant support and understanding, what it is we're asking people to do.

"Isolating for 14 days is a serious request in terms of people's financial situation.

"We also need to understand very many people are in low-paid jobs, with fragile contracts, sometimes in really difficult circumstances, so we need to win people to this fight with us.

READ MORE: 'Only NHS has access': Ministers insist Amazon is not getting data from a million users of Scotland's Test and Protect app

"Simply imposing fines if they don't won't be sufficient.

"Those are big numbers, which for many people will be completely beyond their capabilities."

HeraldScotland:

Yesterday, professor Neil Ferguson has warned that new coronavirus restrictions will be needed “sooner rather than later” if the authorities are to prevent the disease surging again.

Prof Ferguson – whose modelling led to the Government ordering the lockdown in March – said the country was facing a “perfect storm” following the easing of controls over the summer.

“Right now we are at about the levels of infection we were seeing in this country in late February,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“If we leave it another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid-March. That’s clearly going to cause deaths because people will be hospitalised.

“I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later.”