Liverpool is to be plunged into a strict Tier Three lockdown from tomorrow with pubs, bars, bookies, casinos and gyms ordered to close, according to a report.
Vast swathes of the north are facing a similar crackdown ahead of a new tiered system expected to be announced by Downing Street on Monday.
Furious council leaders spoke to officials in London this afternoon and asked for a monthly review of the situation, according to Sky News, amid anger that the Government was not providing enough consultation.
They demanded clarity over which businesses must shut their doors after it was proposed that pubs serving 'substantial food' could keep their doors open.
Restaurants, schools and universities are to remain open, but mayors, including Manchester's Andy Burnham, have warned over the grave economic consequences of tougher measures.
Liverpool recorded the second-highest infection rate in England in the 14 days before October 4, with 4,593 confirmed cases (928.2 per 100,000 people).
The neighbouring borough of Knowsley had the worst rate, with 1,412 cases and an infection rate of 944.
Downing Street sources said no decision had yet been taken on where a Tier Three system would apply.
LIVERPOOL: People out socialising last night just hours before brutal new measures are introduced to combat the virus
LIVERPOOL: Revellers pack into Church Street on Saturday night - the city is expected to be plunged into strict Tier Three measures tomorrow
LIVERPOOL: A trio of women walk through the streets with jugs of alcohol after kicking out time last night
MANCHESTER: Diners enjoy a meal out on Sunday ahead of new measures for the north of England
Young people having a drink out in Manchester on Sunday, ahead of a government announcement on Monday
Customers at The Restaurant Bar and Grill in Manchester on Sunday ahead of a government announcement on Monday
People outside the Revolucion de Cuba bar in Manchester on Sunday
As the mayors in the north threatened legal action over 'oppressive' lockdowns imposed from London:Britain recorded 12,872 new Covid cases - just 9% more than last Sunday's adjusted total - and 65 deaths; Researchers found Covid-19 can survive for a month on surfaces including banknotes and phone screens; London could be shielded from the worst of a second wave because one in eight people have antibodies; Town hall bosses will be given powers to deploy volunteers to knock on doors and ask people to self-isolate; Labour leaders in the North demanded more cash handouts from the government to support lockdown and called the new furlough scheme 'insufficient'; Doctors have warned face masks should be mandatory inside and outside to curb the spread of infections; BCG vaccine was given to 1,000 people in Exeter University trial to test claims that it helps fight Covid by stimulating the immune system; Schoolchildren have been banned from singing Happy Birthday over fears it could spread covid; Health Secretary Matt Hancock made a tasteless 'drinks on me' Covid test joke in Commons bar as he 'joined MPs flouting 10pm curfew'; 'Rule of Six' restriction may be lifted temporarily by Chancellor Rishi Sunak over the festive period.
According to reports, an infection rate of less than 100 cases per 100,000 people in the population would allow for TIER ONE.
TIER TWO would be imposed when cases tipped over 100 per 100,000 people.
TIER THREE is believed to be reserved for the most severely infected areas which would be put into action once Tier Two measures had failed.
Boris Johnson's decision this afternoon to brief Cabinet members on the reported three tier set-up was a rare move amid mounting pressure from up north.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham this morning blasted a lack of communication, telling Times Radio: 'To be called to a meeting with 10 Downing Street on a Friday evening, to be effectively presented with proposals that needed to be agreed over the weekend, I mean that isn't adequate or acceptable consultation to me.
'That is being railroaded into a position. It's all come too late.'
Mr Johnson's plans were also savaged by the leader of Bolton Council, who warned they would destroy the economy of the north of England at a time when he was trying to 'build back better', including in former Red Wall Labour seats taken at the 2019 General Election.
And giving a brutal assessment of the plans on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme this morning, David Greenhalgh said: 'My immediate reaction is that it is oppressive.'
A further 32 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 30,471, NHS England said this afternoon.
Mr Burnham, asked on Times Radio what he would say to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, said: 'Isn't it time for a major change here, a complete reversal of what we have seen so far?
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick insisted today that the Government is working closely with local leaders ahead of new coronavirus measures being brought in
Some 65 more people have died after testing positive for Covid-19 - nearly double the 33 deaths recorded last week
A further 12,872 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK as the country's daily case total stays above the 10,000 mark for an entire week
'Localising the response to this crisis but critically, as Joe (Anderson, Liverpool mayor) said, putting in place a help package and an economic package to help the North of England through.
The rise in Britons being treated with coronavirus in hospital is being driven in part by them catching it on the wards, the latest available figures indicate.
The number of hospital cases rose from 2,396 to 3,660 – an increase of 52 per cent – between September 30 and October 7.
But separate statistics show almost one in five with the virus in hospital tested positive seven days or more after admission – implying they caught it there.
The findings suggest Covid-19 hospitalisations caused by community outbreaks may not be growing as fast as some fear.
Rises in admissions have been greatest in North West England, say health officials.
But the total number of virus patients in UK hospitals is still a fraction of the peak figure of 19,849 in April.
'I would say to him this, are we levelling up here or are we levelling down? Which is it?
'If you go ahead with this financial package, in my view, that will be to break what the Government said it would do when they were elected.
'If they continue with this, jobs will be lost, businesses will collapse, the fragile economies of the North will be shattered.
'The Government has a real choice here, if it proceeds on the path it is on, in my view, the central so-called mission of this Government to level-up will be over.'sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy told Marr: 'It's really hard to explain how angry people are in the north of England about what has happened, not just over the last few months but over the last few days. I haven't felt anger like this towards the government since I was growing up here in the 1980s.
'People feel that they haven't just