The tiered coronavirus restrictions may need ‘strengthening' in order to get the country ‘through the winter months', the chief medical adviser for NHS Test and Trace has said.
Under previous Tier 1 (medium) rules all hospitality businesses were able to remain open, subject to the 10pm curfew and rule of six.
When asked what measures could be in force when England's national lockdown is due to end on 3 December, Dr Susan Hopkins told today's Downing Street press conference the tier system had shown a "different effect" in each region.
She said that while the strictest Tier 3 (very high) rules had led to a decline in cases in the North West, Tier 2 (high) ‘seems to hold in some areas and not others'.
Hopkins added: "We see very little effect from Tier 1. When we look at what tiers there will be in future we will have to think about strengthening them to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available for everyone."
During the conference, health secretary Matt Hancock said it was "too early" to see the impact of the current lockdown on coronavirus cases.
When asked if the shutdown in England will be extended beyond 2 December if cases and deaths continue to rise, he said: "At the moment most of the tests we are getting back are from around the time the lockdown came in so it is too early to see the data on the impact of the second lockdown.
"We absolutely hope to be able to replace the national lockdown with a tiered system similar to what we had before. We are assessing that and how we can ensure that it is effective."