Pubs in ‘last chance saloon’ and could be shut if they break the Rule of Six

Pubs have been warned they could be closed on the spot if they break the rule of six amid warnings Britain is in the "last chance saloon".

Ministers are planning a tough new crackdown on boozers that allow large groups to gather or fail to properly collect the details of customers.

They will be served with orders which force them to shut down immediately for breaching the requirements for social distancing and contact tracing.

Police and local councils will be urged to carry out checks to make sure bars and restaurants are meeting them, the Daily Mail reported.

Downing Street has warned tighter national measures could be introduced within days if Brits don’t start following the rules, such as curfews.

A Government source told the Telegraph: "The message is that ‘This is it'.

"We have heavy measures down the road unless we can get things back on track, rather than saying any new restrictions are going ahead.

"This is the last chance saloon."

It comes as the UK’s top scientists warn the country is heading in the wrong direction amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus.

In a press conference this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce a plan for the next six months to curb the rising Covid-19 cases.

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Government officials are said to be worried about large groups of people standing on the street outside bars or packed inside.

They are also reportedly concerned many venues are not collecting customers’ details as required by the NHS Test and Trace service.

This allows the NHS service to get in touch with them in the event of an outbreak.

Councils in England could be given the power to order premises to close immediately under the proposals, according to reports.

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Currently, they can issue fines of up to £4,000 on places that allow the rule of six to be broken or don’t collect the details.

The law could also be tightened to ban punters from ordering at the bar or counter.

A Cabinet minister told the Daily Mail: “People have been registering in pubs as Donald Duck and providing made up phone numbers, or not giving any contact details at all.

“So a crackdown is needed.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the "nation faces a tipping point" in controlling the virus.

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