BORIS Johnson is “extremely concerned” that a second wave of Covid-19 cases could start within a fortnight, reports say.

England’s seven-day coronavirus case average stands at nearly 700, up 28% on three weeks ago.

With new outbreaks in Europe too, the UK Government is now concerned cases could spike sooner than they had anticipated.

It comes days after the Prime Minister told the public they could expect a “significant” return to normality by Christmas time.

Yesterday on a visit to Nottingham, Johnson appeared concerned by the growing number of cases around the world.

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He said people in the UK should be “vigilant” and follow all the relevant public health advice.

A senior UK Government source told the Mail: “The PM is extremely concerned by what he's seeing abroad and fears we could be seeing the same thing here in a fortnight.

“People have got to realise we are still in the middle of a pandemic. He wants to go further on opening things up and getting people back to work, but he knows it'll be his head on the block if things go wrong.”

Online there was some upset that the UK Government, which abandoned daily Covid-19 briefings last month, was briefing fears of a second wave to newspapers rather than informing the public directly.

Journalist Ross Kempsell said: “If the view at the top of government is really that there might be a ‘second wave... within a fortnight’, shouldn’t more be done with this critical and life threatening information than exclusively briefing it for the front page of a newspaper?”

Meanwhile, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she is “increasingly concerned” about a second wave of coronavirus infections.

She told the public to be “very cautious” about foreign travel amid outbreaks across Europe, warning any “sharp increase” in cases could mean travellers are forced to quarantine on return to Scotland.

It comes days after the Scottish Government removed Spain from the list of countries exempt from quarantine rules.

Sturgeon said while the prevalence of coronavirus in Scotland is still at a low level – with no deaths for 12 days now – the progress “remains fragile” and cases are “accelerating” around the world.