More than half of England will be living under severe coronavirus restrictions next week.
From Monday, 58% of the population will be living under either Tier 2 or Tier 3 measures.
Meanwhile, one in five people in England will be living under the toughest possible restrictions when West Yorkshire is added to the list of areas in Tier 3 at the start of the week. Nottinghamshire went into Tier 3 on Friday.
It comes as the government continues to defend its three-tier localised approach to try and restrict the continued spread of COVID-19 infections.
Watch: Dominic Raab says national lockdown ‘should be held in reserve’
There have been more than 500,000 lab-confirmed infections in October alone, with the tiered system introduced on 14 October.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said the government is “striving” to avoid issuing blanket restrictions nationwide – as was recommended by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) last month – and insisted targeted measures could slow the growth in cases.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’re confident we’ve got the right measures and framework in place, which is not to have a blanket approach, [but] the target measures.
“We have seen, since we adopted that approach, a decrease in the rate of growth, but clearly there is still an uptick in the virus.
“We are battling a second wave, and we’re going to do everything we can, in a targeted and focused way, to repress and bring those numbers back down.”
Meanwhile, when asked about the potential for introducing Tier 4, an even higher level of restrictions, Raab did not rule it out as he said introducing “further measures” is an option.
He said: “We’re always ready for further measures that we can take, but I think the most important thing about further measures is that we continue on the track that we’re on of targeting the virus.”
Elsewhere, Tees Valley and the West Midlands are expected to be moved to Tier 3 shortly.
And more than a dozen regions will move from Tier 1 to Tier 2 on Saturday.
These include: the East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston-Upon-Hull, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, Dudley, Staffordshire, Telford, the Wrekin, Amber Valley, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales, Derby City, South Derbyshire, the whole of High Peak, Charnwood, Luton and Oxford.
England's three-tier local lockdown system at a glance
Standard national restrictions apply. This means people can socialise indoors and outdoors in groups of up to six. Pubs and restaurants must close at 10pm
People cannot socialise indoors with people they don’t live with, including at hospitality venues. However, social gatherings of up to six people are still allowed anywhere outdoors. Pubs and restaurants must close at 10pm
Households are banned from mixing indoors and outdoors, except for in public spaces. Pubs must also close unless they can offer meals
Certain exemptions apply in all three tiers. To see the full list of rules in your area, type your postcode into the government website.
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