TEN million Brits in the North are to be hit by a tougher lockdown on Monday as Covid numbers soar.
Boris Johnson is poised to order pubs and restaurants to shut in Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle.
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But he faces a rebellion from MPs, local leaders in the North West and North East and even close allies over the new measures.
Top Tories have begged him not to copy Scotland, which today ordered pubs to shut.
Mr Johnson intends to unveil his simplified three-tier local lockdown code next week.
In plans signed off at a ministerial “gold command” meeting last night, Tier 1 will see current social distancing measures, the “rule of six” and a pub curfew of 10pm enforced.
Areas in Tier 2 will have the same restrictions plus a ban on households mixing.
Vast swathes of the virus-hit North West and North East would automatically fall under Tier 3, in which pubs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses will be shut.
People will not be able to mix households — except those with exemptions — and will have to abide by the national social distancing laws, such as wearing face masks.
Ministers are still working out other details, such as whether leisure centres and hairdressers stay open or shut.
Schools, work and retail shops will stay open.
The measures will be imposed for a limited period — certainly for some weeks — but are yet to be fully agreed.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will bail out blighted businesses, with workers entitled to a new form of furlough.
But one of Mr Johnson’s closest allies, former Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry, told The Sun: “It would be economic suicide for England to follow this path.”
The looming restrictions come as cases in the North West rose by 56 per cent in the seven days to October 1, while hospital admissions were up by 46 per cent.
In the North East there was a 46 per cent rise in cases, with hospital admissions up 45.9 per cent.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon locked down pubs in central Scotland for at least two weeks to tackle a coronavirus surge.
Former Cabinet minister Sir Iain Duncan Smith warned the PM that there would be a major Tory rebellion if he copied Ms Sturgeon’s lockdown.
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He said: “There is no evidence that this works — absolutely none whatsoever.”
Tory MPs are threatening to work with Labour to defeat the Government next week in a Commons vote on the 10pm pub curfew.
The UK reported 14,162 new Covid cases and 70 deaths today.
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