The Prime Minister is to hold a press conference on Saturday afternoon amid speculation he will impose a national lockdown in England next week.

Boris Johnson is expected to be joined by his chief medical and scientific advisers, Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, in Downing Street at 5pm.

It comes after a meeting of his Cabinet earlier this afternoon, following media reports which suggest he could close everything in England except essential shops and education settings for a month from Wednesday.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon sets out Scotland's position on national lockdown as PM 'considers restrictions for England'

A Whitehall leak inquiry has been launched after the details were reported by newspapers on Saturday morning.

The Times said the Prime Minister met with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and Health Secretary Matt Hancock to discuss “alarming” new pandemic data, and that he was expected to hold a press conference on Monday.

Other papers – including The Daily Mail and The Sun – also reported that Boris Johnson was preparing to introduce a national lockdown next week.

Scotland's First Minister addressed the unfolding situation, and said the Scottish Government will consider data on the spread of coronavirus 'in the coming days'.

She said developments in England will be taken into consideration.

READ MORE: England facing strict national lockdown 'within days' as Boris Johnson considers new plan in Covid fight

"Prevalence of the virus is currently lower in Scotland than in other parts of the UK and there are early signs that the tough restrictions in place since we moved quickly in late September have started to slow the rate of increase," Ms Sturgeon wrote in a Twitter thread on Saturday.

"We will base decisions on circumstances here - though what happens just across our border is clearly not irrelevant to our considerations. In coming days @scotgov will consider data on the spread of the virus, as we always do, and take account of any developments in England.

"Amongst other factors, this consideration will have to include whether any financial support will be available now as a result of steps in England, which would not be guaranteed to Scotland later."