Boris Johnson has sparked a furious reaction after imposing tough coronavirus restrictions on 99% of England.
Thursday’s announcement that more than 55 million people will be put into Tier 2 and Tier 3 measures when the second national lockdown ends on December 2 has sparked anger across the country.
Large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive Tier 3, which accounts for 41.5% of the population, while 57.3% of the country — including London — will be in Tier 2.
Out of those areas to go into Tier 3, only eight of 119 have reported a rise in cases.
Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – accounting for little more than 1% of England’s population – face the lightest Tier 1 coronavirus restrictions.
The Prime Minister is now facing a Tory revolt, with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the influential 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, saying the decision would make it “harder” to push the measures through Parliament.
The Daily Mail also reported that up to 70 Government backbenchers were prepared to rebel in a vote on the regulations next week.
The rules for the new tier system mean in Tier 1, the rule of six applies indoors and outdoors but in Tier 2 there will be a ban on households mixing indoors, and pubs and restaurants will only be able to sell alcohol with a “substantial meal”.
Tier 3 measures mean a ban on households mixing, except in limited circumstances such as in parks, and bars and restaurants in those areas will be limited to takeaway or delivery services. Shops and schools will remain open in all tiers.
Watch: PM facing rebellion over coronavirus tier decisions
Some areas have voiced anger after seeing their areas move from Tier 1 to Tier 3 after the November lockdown.
They include former cabinet minister Liam Fox and John Penrose, husband of NHS Test and Trace boss Baroness Dido Harding, who criticised the move to place their North Somerset constituencies into Tier 3, having previously only been in Tier 1.
In Kent there was dismay at putting the whole county into Tier 3 when there were discrepancies in the infection rate across the area.
With parts of the county bordering Tier 2 areas, North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale told Sky News he feared people would “skip over the boundary” to go to visit a pub.
A review of the tiers is scheduled for December 16 but the Times reported the Government is not expecting to make any changes until the new year.
Watch: How will the new 3-tier COVID system work?