The chancellor is also set to announce further support for the hospitality industry.
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Boris Johnson is expected to order tough new COVID curbs next week on pubs in northern England, which could include closing them altogether in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.
In an announcement that could come within days, the prime minister is expected to unveil a clampdown in response to alarming rises in coronavirus cases in the worst hit areas.
The latest figures revealed that 14,162 people across the UK were newly diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday.
At the same time, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is finalising a new package of coronavirus support for the stricken hospitality industry, in response to demands from MPs and local government leaders.
Mr Sunak is expected to target support on those businesses such as pubs which are forced to close, or face new rules restricting their opening hours.
But despite the chancellor promising a new version of the furlough scheme, with more generous handouts than before, the new lockdown measures are likely to be greeted by a furious backlash by many Conservative MPs.
Leading Tory backbenchers have already served notice that they intend to rebel in a House of Commons vote on the 10pm curfew, a threat made more potent by Sir Keir Starmer signalling that Labour MPs will also oppose it.
One close ally of the prime minister, former Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry, said the new measures would be “economic suicide” and former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said they would “cripple the economy”.
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The UK government crackdown follows measures announced by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, including pub closures and limits on opening hours, and a £40m handout to businesses affected.
Asked if similar action could be taken in parts of England, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News the government was “considering a range of different options”.
“We’re trying to take a regional and proportionate approach and that means reviewing the passage of the virus in each part of the country,” he said.
“It is true that the virus is rising, in terms of the number of cases, quite significantly in the North West, in the North East and in a number of other cities like Nottingham.
“We are currently considering what the right action would be in those places and we’ll make a conclusion on that as soon as we can.”
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Mr Jenrick also stressed the UK government is seeking a “more consistent approach” to local restrictions so they are “easier for people to understand what different approaches are being applied in different parts of the country”.
Ministers have recently discussed a new three-tier “traffic light” system for local lockdown rules.
The new rules being announced by the prime minister are expected to divide England into three tiers of risk and rising infections, with large parts of northern England in the highest tier, with pubs, restaurants and cafes closing.
Areas in the middle tier are thought likely to face a simplified version of current restrictions and the lowest tier likely to see current social distancing measures and the rule of six enforced.
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But during a Commons debate on the more recent lockdown measures in northern England, Conservative MPs voiced their anger at the curbs already introduced by the government and those now planned.
Leading the onslaught, Mr Berry said: “I think the government has fallen into that fatal trap of making national decisions based on a London-centric view with London data.
“We want to remove the manacles of state control from our hands and from our feet, but we can do that only when we’ve beaten this virus.”
Mr Berry later told The Sun: “The Scottish proposals on effectively banning alcohol consumption represent a new low in COVID restrictions. It would be an act of economic suicide for England to follow this path.”
Also speaking to The Sun, Sir Iain warned Mr Johnson there would be a major Tory rebellion if he copied Ms Sturgeon’s “draconian lockdown”.
He said: “There is no evidence that this works, absolutely none whatsoever.
“What there is evidence for is that this will cripple the economy and lead to more deaths, as has already been demonstrated from non-COVID issues. It’s time to get some balance and save our economy.”
In the face of the threat of a Conservative rebellion, Mr Jenrick failed to confirm a vote on the 10pm curfew would take place in the Commons next week, as had been expected.
“No decision has been made on that yet,” he said.
The housing secretary also defended the use of local lockdowns and said the measures would have “flattened the curve” of infection rates in certain areas, although he admitted they hadn’t worked as fully as ministers would have wanted.
“We haven’t yet seen the impact that we would like to have seen and we understand that’s extremely frustrating to local people in those areas,” Mr Jenrick said.
“However, it is not correct to say that strategy isn’t working because, if we hadn’t chosen to put in place those measures, then the rate of infection would almost certainly be even higher than it is today.
“Even tighter restrictions might now be being considered.”
Labour analysis has claimed that 19 out of 20 areas in England that have been under restrictions for two months have seen an increase in infection rates.