In some areas tiers will be strengthened to safeguard the gains made during the national lockdown.

England’s four-week period of strict coronavirus restrictions is due to come to an end on December 2.

The Prime Minister and other government ministers have said previously that the country would be put back under the tiered system of regulations.

Boris Johnson is expected to detail his plan for winter including information on how families can see their loved ones at Christmas, to MPs on Monday.

The “Covid winter plan” is expected to place more areas into the higher tiers to keep the virus under control to ensure further restrictions are not needed, No 10 said.

The PM will accept that the measures are difficult but will make clear they are not to last longer than is absolutely necessary and will take into account the need to support the economy.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “Everyone’s efforts during the current national restrictions have helped bring the virus back under control, slowed its spread and eased pressures on the NHS.

“But the Prime Minister and his scientific advisors are clear the virus is still present – and without regional restrictions it could quickly run out of control again before vaccines and mass testing have had an effect.

“That would put in jeopardy the progress the country has made, and once again risk intolerable pressure on the NHS.”

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The Cabinet is expected to discuss and sign off the plan on Sunday (November 22) before Mr Johnson announces it to Parliament the following day (Monday 23) when the full details are expected.

The plan will set out how people will be able to spend their Christmas, but ministers have made clear that the festive season will be different to normal, with some restrictions expected to remain in place.

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Ministers will set out what tier each area will be placed into on Thursday, with MPs being given the promised vote to approve the tiering system before it comes into force.

It comes as reports on Saturday suggest people in the UK could spend up to a week socialising with family and friends over Christmas.

Several families could be allowed to join a bubble and to mix between December 22 and 28, The Daily Telegraph has reported.

This comes after health secretary Matt Hancock told a Downing Street briefing it was still too early to say what contact people will be able to have over the festive period.


News – England will enter a ‘strengthened three tier system’ from December