Housing secretary Robert Jenrick says the previous COVID-19 tier system was "probably not strong enough to have the desired effect".
From next week, 99% of England will be in either Tier 2 or Tier 3 - a much higher percentage than before the second national lockdown - and the rules in each tier will be tightened.
But Mr Jenrick says that for some areas, there is a "potential to move down the tiers" before Christmas, at the review point on 16 December.
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