LEEDS and West Yorkshire will remain under Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced yesterday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock was speaking in Parliament on the decisions of the latest Covid-19 tier review.

Mr Hancock has placed three quarters of the country under Tier 4 by Thursday morning.

He 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.

"The new variant means that three quarters of the population are now going to be in Tier 4 and almost all of the country in Tiers 3 and 4.

"And I know that Tier 3 and 4 measures place a significant burden on people, and especially on businesses affected, but I am afraid it is absolutely necessary because of the number of cases that we've seen.

"But where we are still able to give places greater freedoms, we will continue to do so."

An additional 20 million 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% of the population of England.

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said Labour would support the tougher regulations when put to a vote in the Commons on Wednesday.

He told the Commons: "Almost the whole of England is now in a form of lockdown and for my constituents in Leicester, and I'm sure the constituents of MPs from Greater Manchester, will be deeply worried that our areas have now been in a form of restriction for months and months and months. It's having a huge impact on families and small businesses."

Mr Ashworth questioned if mass lateral flow testing is not enough to contain the spread of coronavirus given Liverpool will move up a tier, also noting: "We will vote for the regulations tonight because the situation we're in is truly horrific."

He added the virus is "out of control", asked for assurances over oxygen supplies for hospitals, and said frontline NHS staff need the "protection of the vaccine ASAP".

Mr Ashworth asked for confirmation on the number of Covid-19 vaccine doses available today, adding: "Mass vaccination needs to start straight away. We need to go hell for leather to get these jabs rolled out with no delay."

He went on: "This is a race against time as the more the virus circulates, the more opportunities it has for further variants to emerge."

A total of 12 million people will be in Tier 3 from December 31, or 22% of the population of England.

No area will be in Tier 2, while some 2,000 people - the population of the Isles of Scilly - will be in Tier 1.