Boris Johnson has outlined government plans to introduce a three-tiered strategy to deal with local and regional outbreaks.

The three-tiered system, which places areas into medium, high, and very high rates of transmission, sees the default rule in England to be similar to the current level, which includes the rule of six and the 10pm curfew.

Areas such as Greater Manchester and the North East will be in the high level, with the restrictions similar to what they currently are.

Meanwhile Merseyside will face the highest level of restrictions, where transmission is rising most rapidly.

Social mixing between households will be banned indoors and outdoors, with pubs and bars ordered to close.

The local authority can also introduce further restrictions on hospitality, leisure and entertainment, while retail and education to remain open.

The PM said leaders in Liverpool had agreed gyms, leisure centres, betting shops and casinos would also close.

It is thought wet-led pubs will be forced to close under the rules, while restaurants and food-led pubs, those that serve a substantial meal, will be allowed to remain open under the highest tier.

The PM said the three tired system aimed to simplify and standardise what was become a complex patchwork of rules.

The regulations will be published today, debated in parliament tomorrow and introduced on Wednesday.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the PM said: “This is not how we want to live our lives but this is the narrow path we have to tread between the social and economic trauma of a full lockdown and the massive human, and indeed, economic cost of an uncontained epidemic.”

Sir Keir Starmer said he is “sceptical” whether the government has a plan to get control of the virus.

The Labour leader said: “Nobody should be under any illusion about where this is heading, or of the need for decisive action.

“The question today is whether the restrictions announced by the prime minister can bring the country back from the brink, whether they can regain control of the virus and provide the support and confidence that local businesses and communities need. That is how high the stakes now are.

“So we will consider the package, we will look at the small print of the prime minister’s statement, we will discuss them with local mayors, councillors and leaders in the areas most affected and we’ll scrutinise the economic package that sits alongside them.

“But I have to say to the prime minister, I am now deeply sceptical that the government has actually got a plan to get control of this virus, to protect jobs or retain public trust.”