The rest of Yorkshire and the Humber will remain in Tier 3, where household mixing is banned both in and outdoors, as the Health Secretary set out the threat posed by the new variants of coronavirus.
He told the Commons that while the approval of a second coronavirus vaccine today was “a great stride forward in our plan to get us out of this pandemic and to return to normal life”.
But he added: “The NHS is under very significant pressure. There are over 21,000 people in hospital with coronavirus right now and we can see the impact that this is having.
“The threat to life from this virus is real and the pressures on the NHS are real too.”
He said: “Yesterday alone 3,135 new cases were registered, the majority of which are believed to be the new variant. Unfortunately, this new variant is now spreading across most of England, and cases are doubling fast.”
Vast swathes of the rest of the country will be moved into the most severe restrictions, Tier 4, which is akin to the measures seen during national lockdowns, a list published by the Government revealed.
And Mr Hancock said almost all of the country would be in Tiers 3 and 4 from tomorrow.
“I know that Tiers 3 and 4 measures places a significant burden on people and especially on businesses affected,” he said.
“But I'm afraid it's absolutely necessary because of the number of cases that we've seen.”
An additional 20m people will be in Tier 4 of the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions from December 31.
This means a total of 44 million people will now be in Tier 4, or 78 per cent of the population of England.
Mr Hancock said: “Even in most areas not moving into Tier 4, cases are rising too, and it is therefore necessary to apply Tier 3 measures more broadly too – including in Liverpool and North Yorkshire.
“The rest of Yorkshire remains in Tier 3. These changes will take effect from 00:01 tomorrow morning.