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England's latest Covid hotspots could be the next areas moved into Tier 4 on Wednesday.
Millions more are likely to add to the numbers living under the strictest coronavirus measures in England which is currently 43% of the population.
Particularly badly affected districts in the north of the country will likely join the south east and east of England in Tier 4 where 24 million people are without non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers.
Infection rates in Carlisle and Eden, Cumbria continue to rise with Eden now recording 485.7 cases per 100,000 people.
Just like much of the south east which skipped Tier 3 on Boxing Day when it went from open pubs to closed shops overnight, Eden will probably be moved from Tier 2 straight into 4.
Burnley in Lancashire has also become a hotspot for the virus in recent weeks, now recording the second highest rate of infection in an area not in Tier 4.
Unlike Eden, Burnley is already in Tier 3, but with 488.1 cases per 100,000 people, it looks set to be plunged into the strictest restrictions.
The government has confirmed it will review the tier system in England on December 30 as planned after 14 days.
With a new mutant strain of Covid-19 spreading far more quickly than the original, more areas are expected to be moved into the top tier.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told BBC Breakfast that moving the entire country into a Tier 4 lockdown has not been ruled out
Mr Gove said: "The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) will be making a recommendation to ministers, but I can't pre-empt that because it obviously has to be a judgement based on the medical situation.
"But as you quite rightly point out the NHS is under pressure and these are difficult months ahead."
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