The government has announced a five-step plan for imposing local lockdowns in the case of coronavirus spikes.
Boris Johnson said the government is now moving to a local focus rather than locking down the entire country.
He said the five-step plan will include: monitoring, engagement, testing, targeted restrictions and local lockdown “as a last resort”.
Public Health England (PHE) will work with the joint biosecurity sector by looking at data of the spread of coronavirus and people’s behaviour across the country.
They will look for emerging trends, rising cases and other indicators, while taking into account local factors.
If monitoring identifies local problems, NHS Test and Trace and PHE will work with the relevant local authority to develop a deeper understanding of the problem and identify solutions.
They will work with local agencies to keep the local community informed at every stage so they know what they need to do.
Testing at a local level will then be scaled-up, combined with contract tracing through NHS Test and Trace to try to control the virus at that stage.
If the virus continues to spread, activities at particular locations will be restricted and individual premises will be closed.
Hotspots will have access restricted, with people who have spent time there tested and contact tracing carried out for anyone who tests positive.
If the previous measures do not stop the spread, local lockdowns will be extended across whole communities, with businesses and schools shut down as people are urged to stay at home.
Mr Johnson said the government is “continually exploring smarter means of containing the virus”.
The prime minister said they have successfully carried out a few local lockdowns so far.
Chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, urged people to keep following social distancing rules as lockdown restrictions are eased.
He added: “If individuals, families and firms do not take them seriously the possibility of a second wave goes up sharply.”