Matt Hancock has announced today that a number of new regions will be moved into "tier 2 lockdown" from Friday.
The tier system was unveiled by Boris Johnson on Monday, and essentially groups lockdowns into three different sets of rules. London was initially placed in the lowest bracket (Tier 1), but health minister Helen Whately informed London MPs of the change in a conference call earlier today.
Tier 2 restrictions mean that people from different households will no longer be allowed to meet at home or at any indoor public spaces. The "rule of six" for outdoor gatherings will also remain in place, and pubs and restaurants will be able to remain open with a 10pm curfew.
According to The Guardian, London Tory MPs expressed anger at being "shut out" of the discussions, and saying the government had "failed to make the case" for the tightening of restrictions.
Other regions being placed in tier 2 include Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, north-east Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield, but Hancock said no decisions had been taken yet on Greater Manchester or Lancashire, which are currently in tier 2 but may be moved up to tier 3, meaning residents would not be allowed to socialised with other households outdoors.
People had a lot to say about the new rules.
Labour MP for Oldham West & Royton Jim McMahon was not impressed with the lack of clarity.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner blamed the government for the situation, saying it had "failed to deliver a test and trace system that works, despite having 7 months to do so".
Labour MP for Wigan Lisa Nandy pointed out that the fact that tier 2 is now affecting London means it's getting a lot of attention which wasn't offered to other parts of the country.
Fellow Labour MP Wes Streeting – among others – echoed this sentiment:
Streeting also highlighted the difficulties this would present for businesses in the hospitality industry:
Journalists Rob Davies, Stig Abell, Kate Andrews, Dan Bloom and Stephen Bush explained further:
Lots of people also seemed generally quite confused by the new rules.
Although others thought they'd cracked the code.
And there were some unexpected side effects of the new terminology: