The government is expected to announce that swathes of northern England, including Greater Manchester, will be moved into Tier 3 restrictions on Tuesday.
The restrictions, which include the closure of pubs, could come into force as early as Wednesday night.
Ministers have given local leaders in Greater Manchester a midday deadline to agree a deal on the new restrictions.
Sheffield City Region and West Yorkshire will also be put into the ‘very high’ Covid alert level.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will also hold a good command meeting with scientific advisers tomorrow to decide whether to recommend a ‘circuit break’ lockdown over half term in England.