This comes amid reports that England is preparing for a full national lockdown, similar to what the country saw earlier this year in March.
Ministers have reportedly been shown forecasting by scientists of a potential surge to around 4,000 deaths per day, if immediate action is not taken.
The Cabinet has been holding an emergency meeting today, Downing Street announced earlier. Ministers are expected to be briefed by scientists following the leak of goverment plans for more stringent coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Johnson was due to hold a press conference on Monday with measures reportedly to come into force on Wednesday, however the leak has derailed these plans.
The paper circulating claims the NHS and hospitals will be overwhelmed within just three weeks.
It states they will be unable to accept any more patients by Christmas, even if Nightingale hospitals are used and all non-urgent procedures are cancelled, warning that “the window to act is now for the majority of the country.”
According to The Times, Mr Johnson held a meeting on Friday afternoon with senior cabinet ministers Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock, in which all agreed national restrictions were now necessary.
Scientists have been calling for a second lockdown for more than six weeks, cautioning that covid was spreading significantly faster than previously thought. One government scientific advisor has said ahead of the announcement that coronavirus is “running riot” across all age groups.
Everything except essential shops and educational settings, including nurseries, schools and universities could be closed. Reports claim Mr Sunak and Mr Johnson have been in talks about how restrictions could be imposed without further damage to the economy.
Ministers have previously rejected an advised “circuit breaker” lockdown, backed by scientific advisors and the Labour Party.
Meanwhile, first minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has said a decision in England to go into a second national lockdown will have no effect on the Wales firebreak lockdown, which is due to end on 9 November.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned Scottish citizens to avoid travelling south of the border into England, “except for essential purposes.” Ms Sturgeon said she has not ruled out following England into a second lockdown.
In the Commons just 10 days ago, Mr Johnson called a second lockdown “the height of absurdity” which would inflict unnecessary “misery on the public.”
The announcement of potential new measures comes the same day the government's furlough scheme is due to end.
Meanwhile, the UK’s death toll has now passed 62,000.