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Swathes of the south east have been plunged into Tier Three, Matt Hancock has announced.
Large parts of Surrey, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire are set to be under tougher restrictions from midnight on Saturday, Mr Hancock announced.
Meanwhile Bristol and North Somerset will come out of Tier Three and into Tier Two, the MP said, as Herefordshire was placed into Tier One.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Health Secretary said: "In the south east of England cases are up by 46% in the last week. Hospital admissions are up by a third. In the east of England cases are up two thirds, and hospital admissions are up by nearly half.
"It is therefore necessary to apply Tier Three measures to a much wider area of the South and South East of England."
Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, the whole of Hertfordshire, Surrey with the exception of Waverly, Hastings and Rother, and Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire.
Changes come into effect from one minute past midnight on Saturday.
Mr Hancock added: "The best way to get out of [Tier Three] is to pull together and do everything they can to stop the spread of the virus".
The changes mean that millions of Brits will face tougher restrictions in the run up to Christmas.
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