Millions of people across England are being made subject to tougher Tier 2 lockdown measures from Saturday.
Sixteen more areas across the country are having their restrictions upgraded to the 'high' alert level, meaning more than 32 million people will be living under either Tier 2 or Tier 3 in England.
Of those, roughly 8.7million will be living under the tightest Tier 3 but millions more are expected to join them within days, reports The Mirror.
Today it was confirmed there were a further 23,065 infections across the UK in the last 24 hours and 280 deaths - the most on a Thursday since May.
This afternoon the Department for Health and Social Care confirmed that swathes of the country would see their local Covid alert level upgrade from medium to high:
- Yorkshire and the Humber: East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston-Upon-Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire;
- West Midlands: Dudley, Staffordshire, Telford and the Wrekin;
- East Midlands: Amber Valley, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales, Derby City, South Derbyshire, the whole of High Peak, Charnwood;
- East of England: Luton
- South East: Oxford City
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We continue to see a worrying rise in cases right across the country, and it is clear decisive action is needed.
"We have agreed with local leaders to move more areas into the High Local Covid Alert Level this week.
"These restrictions are challenging for us all, but it is only by working together and following the rules that we will bring down the rates of infection.
"A failure to act now will only lead to longer disruption and greater economic damage. I want to thank everyone who is playing their part to break the chains of transmission across the country."
Tier 2 measures means people cannot meet with anyone outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
People should also try to limit their journeys and avoid public transport. The measures will be reviewed after two weeks.
Leader of the Dudley local authority councillor Patrick Harley said: "I know everyone has made huge efforts so far in helping to curb the spread of coronavirus and I want to thank you for all you have done.
"Sadly, despite this, cases in Dudley, as across the country, have continued to rise. Your efforts helped us remain in Tier 1, the last authority in the West Midlands Combined Authority area to do so, but we have now joined our neighbours.
"Our borough will now move into the high alert category, with further restrictions, particularly around social mixing, coming into place.
"It is vital we follow them. Figures are doubling every two weeks and we must act now to safeguard ourselves and our families, and we all have a duty of care to our older and vulnerable residents.
"We know these are very difficult times for everyone, it's impacting on our lives and our economy, but we can't stress how vital it is we redouble our efforts and all follow these national measures to protect each other."
The weekly case rate in England stood at 201 people per 100,000 from 15 October to 21 October, up from 100 people per 100,000 for the week 25 September to 1 October. Cases are not evenly spread, with infection rates rising more rapidly in some areas than others.