PRIME Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation at 8pm amid talks of a third national lockdown due to rising Covid-19 cases.

Speculation has been rife, particularly over the reopening of schools after the Christmas break, while a new more transmissible strain of the coronavirus spreads through communities across the country.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already announced full national restrictions north of the border, including the closure of schools until the end of January.

It follows news that infection rates in Worcestershire, recently moved up to tier three regional restrictions, have surged to 317 per 100,000 people in the past week.

What do we know so far about tonight's announcement?

Boris Johnson will make a TV address tonight to set out "further steps" to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The prime minister is expected to speak at 8pm amid calls for a third national lockdown in England.

It has also been announced the House of Commons will be recalled from its current recess to sit on Wednesday, so MPs can hear from Mr Johnson and to debate coronavirus restrictions.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "The spread of the new variant of COVID-19 has led to rapidly escalating case numbers across the country.

"The prime minister is clear that further steps must now be taken to arrest this rise and to protect the NHS and save lives.

"He will set those out this evening."

What has been announced in Scotland?

New laws require people to stay at home and work from home where possible and outdoor gatherings are also to be cut back with people only allowed to meet one person from one other household.

Places of worship are to be closed, group exercise banned, and schools will largely operate via online and remote learning.

These rules will apply across the Scottish mainland. Island areas will remain in level three but "would be monitored carefully".