Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock reportedly met on Friday to discuss "alarming" new pandemic data.
"People who know their own community are bound to be better than Whitehall or national contact tracers", communities secretary Robert Jenrick admits.
Whitehall has been urged to take stronger action as infections increase dramatically, with 17,540 lab-confirmed cases reported on Thursday.
Letter from Dominic Raab reveals outgoing civil servant Mark Sedwill will oversee merger of Foreign Office and DfID, despite leaving Whitehall in September.
Sedwill is quitting his roles as cabinet secretary and national security adviser as part of Boris Johnson's overhaul of Whitehall.
PM's Brexit negotiator David Frost to become national security adviser, with a competition launched to fill Sedwill's cabinet secretary post.
Government sources tell HuffPost UK some of the £4bn-worth of crisis planning means the UK is accidentally better prepared for Covid-19.
Exclusive: Former Whitehall chief to replace Karie Murphy in key role for Labour leader
Dozens of people have complained to police after a video of Farage at a Brexit Party event in Newport surfaced on Saturday morning.
Tory leadership candidate says Whitehall must be ready for a no-deal Brexit.