London, Essex and Elmbridge in Surrey are among areas set to move from Tier 1 to Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions this weekend.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said Erewash, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield were also moving to Tier 2 following a rise in infections.
Greater Manchester and Lancashire are also reportedly set to join Liverpool in the (very high) Tier 3 level, but discussions are still ongoing with local leaders.
This would mean restaurants, pubs and bars not serving ‘substantial meals' must close.
The changes will come in to effect one minute past midnight on Saturday morning.
Those in Tier 2 will be banned from meeting other households indoors, including in restaurants and pubs, but businesses are able to remain open.
Hancock also advised people in Tier 2 areas to ‘reduce the number of journeys' they make ‘where possible'.
Speaking in the House of Commons, he said: "I know these restrictions are difficult for people and hate the fact we have to bring them in, [but it's important] to keep people safe and prevent greater economic damage in the future. Local action is one of the best weapons we have."
London mayor Sadiq Khan has called for the government to issue a support package to reflect the "unique circumstance" of the capital. The shift in to Tier 2 will affect 3,640 pubs and 7,556 restaurants across 32 boroughs and the City of London.
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