OXFORDSHIRE woke up today facing the prospect of a second national lockdown.

Several reports this morning suggest the UK could be put under stricter measures next week, with The Times newspaper predicting Boris Johnson will hold a press conference as early as Monday.

The new restrictions would be in place from Wednesday, November 4 until Tuesday, December 1, according to The Times, with only essential shops and 'educational settings' staying open.

It comes as Oxford today moves into tier 2 restrictions, leaving pubs and restaurants fearing for their future.

Read also: Pubs and restaurants react to new restrictions

The rest of the county remains at tier 1 for now.

Although nothing is confirmed, the topic has divided Oxford Mail readers reacting to the news.

Christian Hodgkinson wrote on Facebook: "I sincerely hope they keep schools open as well as leisure centres, dentist and GP surgeries and other essential businesses.

"I don't think we could handle a lockdown like March. We need access to excerise, education and health facilities if they want us to stay sane and healthy."

Izzy Faulkner added: "Keep to local lockdowns if it’s needed. A national lockdown will do nothing but mess up the economy drastically over winter and Christmas months.

"My children won’t be allowed to visit family and friends again but will be allowed to sit with 30 children in a classroom whom they don’t live with."

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Meanwhile, Martin Pritchard commented : "I have no idea how I'm going to get through this financially if we do go into lockdown again.

"It seems absolutely ludicrous to damage the economy in this way along with the people."

Mr Johnson has so far resisted a "circuit-breaker" lockdown, but the alarming rise in cases has forced him to reconsider.

An Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey estimated 570,000 people became infected in the week ending October 23, with government scientists already warning it is too late for a two-week lockdown.

The latest rolling seven-day rate of new cases of Covid-19 for Oxfordshire has shown how all district areas are up week-on-week.

Read also: Latest Covid figures for Oxfordshire

In the seven days ending October 25, Cherwell had the highest infection rate per 100,000 people with 157.5, while Oxford was next on 137.7.

The Vale of the White Horse's total of 85.3 was the lowest.

Oxfordshire's director of public health, along with political and business leaders, had all pushed for the rest of the county to be moved into tier 2 but this was blocked by the government.

Some readers supported a second lockdown following the rise in cases.

On Facebook, Gareth Wyatt said: "It has to happen unfortunately, the current guidance is clearly not working."

Twitter user Chris Russell wrote: "The sooner the better, local ones are not working."

@pauldazM69 added: "Should have already happened."