PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has warned that tougher measures could be introduced if the rise in coronavirus cases is not brought under control.

At a Downing Street press conference this evening, Wednesday, Mr Johnson said the country was at a 'critical moment' and he would not hesitate to bring in further restrictions.

Yesterday saw the biggest rise in confirmed cases of coronavirus, plus a further 7,108 more cases today.

Mr Johnson said: "If we put in the work together now then we give ourselves the best possible chance of avoiding that outcome and avoiding further measures.

"I know some people will think we should give up and let the virus take its course despite the huge loss of life that would potentially entail.

"I have to say I profoundly disagree.

"I don’t think that is what the British people want.

"I don’t think they want to throw in the sponge.

"They want to fight and defeat this virus and that is what we are going to do."

Professor Chris Whitty added there are high concentrations of confirmed coronavirus cases in the north west, north east and areas of the midlands, which are ‘increasing rapidly’.

He continued that the north west is seeing the most significant rise in cases across all groups, as well as rates of hospitalisation.

During the conference, Mr Johnson also thanked the university students who are isolating and experiencing a term ‘unlike anything they had ever imagined’.

He added that plans are in place to allow those students home safely for Christmas.