Another one and a half million people in England will be living under the strictest coronavirus restrictions from tomorrow, as the whole of Lancashire is moved into tier 3.
However, restaurants and any pubs or bars that are able to "operate as if they were a restaurant" and serve "substantial" meals are allowed to remain open.
The Tier 2 rule, which means families can not mix indoors or in pubs, cafes and restaurants, was enforced across parts of the north and south east of England.
Areas newly affected by Tier 2 rules are London, Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, North East Derbyshire, Erewash, Chesterfield and York.
In Liverpool, Tier 3 bans have been in effect since Monday, but after Lancashire announced yesterday that they would join the "very high" risk level, there have been allegations of inconsistencies between the two regions.
Speaking at a news conference on Downing Street, Boris Johnson described the city's coronavirus outbreak as a "grave".
The mayor of Liverpool has urged residents to follow new restrictions - the tightest in the country -after revealing his brother is in intensive care with coronavirus. And the number of people in hospital has risen sharply since last week.
He warned: "Of course, if agreement can not be reached I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester's hospitals and save the lives of Manchester's residents".
Downing Street said it is up to regional leaders to decide whether gyms should be closed as part of Tier 3 restrictions.
"From a purely epidemiological point of view, it is important to go quite fast on this, it's important to make sure that you go hard enough to get the R below 1 and the sooner you do that, the sooner you get this under control".
Wet-led pubs and bars across Lancashire, including Blackpool, Blackburn and Fleetwood, are set to close from midnight tonight as the county moves into Tier 3 of the government's lockdown system.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said on Twitter: "Liverpool City Region has demanded immediate clarification on why Lancashire gyms are allowed to stay open and Liverpool's close".
In a joint statement, Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram and leaders of the six boroughs said: 'We simply will not accept our region being treated differently to other Tier 3 areas, without robust scientific evidence. "Inconsistent mess, we now have Tier 3 A and Tier 3 B".