The Prime Minister has confirmed a new three-tier system of local lockdown measures will be introduced from Wednesday.

Speaking at the House of Commons yesterday, Boris Johnson outlined the updated efforts to curb the rising Covid-19 rates, stating that a second lockdown is not “the right course”.

“The number of cases has quadrupled in the last three weeks,” he said.

“There are now more people in hospital with Covid than when we went into lockdown on March 23, and deaths are already rising.”

He continued: “I do not believe [a second lockdown] would be the right course.

“We would not only be depriving our children of their education, we would do such damage to our economy as to erode our long-term ability to fund the NHS and other crucial public services.”

Instead, a medium, high and very high tier-system is being introduced for most areas across the country.

The medium alert level will cover most of the country, including the already-established measures including social distancing, restrictions on gatherings and wearing face coverings when in shops, restaurants, and other indoor public spaces.

Areas of high alert will see a reduction on household-to-household interactions, and the rule of six will continue to apply outdoors, including in private gardens.

He added that areas already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into high alert level, with Liverpool named as the first very high alert area.

All pubs in the city will be instructed to close from Wednesday, as well as bars, gyms, leisure centres, betting shops, and adult gaming centres also being forced to shut their doors, in a bid to reduce the spread of the virus within Merseyside.

The Conservative leader also outlined a new financial support system for businesses forced to shut their doors under the new rules, offering £3,000 per month to those struggling, instead of the former £1,500 every three weeks.

He added that the Government will cover two-thirds of the wages for employees of businesses forced to close by the updated restrictions, as well as providing funding of about £1 billion to local authorities across the country, in addition to the £3.6 billion Towns Fund.

There will also be further support for the Test and Trace system for very high alert areas.

Residents can find out which local alert area they are in by searching on the website, or via the Test and Trace app.

Concluding his announcement, Boris Johnson said: “This is not how we want to live our lives, but is the narrow path we have to tread between social and economic costs of a full lockdown and the massive human and indeed economic cost of an uncontained epidemic.

“I must warn the House, the weeks and months ahead will continue to be difficult and will test the mettle of this country.

“I have no doubt at all that together we will succeed.”

Commenting on Mr Johnson's announcement, Carlisle MP John Stevenson said: "It is a difficult balancing act that Government has to reach, looking after the economy and protecting health and wellbeing in the population.

"Taking a localised approach is much better than a national lockdown, but it is about making sure the lockdown is proportionate and not overly restrictive to prevent activity from businesses and individuals.

"The challenge for the Government is to get that balance. Clearly it depends upon taking scientific advice, which is the right thing to do, but they have to take their own judgement about what is sufficient to protect health and maintain economic activity."

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson said he "welcomes the clarity" of the new guidance, and hopes to see Cumbria remain out of the higher alert tiers.

"We've had a bit of a patchwork of restrictions depending on where you live, so it's good to have some clarity now," he said.

"I don't foresee any change in the near future for my constituency, but it's just helpful to have that standardisation."

He added: "The people who aren't listening to the guidance aren't going to follow it, and those that aren't following guidance are causing the biggest problems.

"I don't think lockdown is a good idea – we've all got the same mission to defeat the virus, but the consequences of lockdown we have seen are bad for our economical health, mental health and physical health.

"We've all got a part to play, and hopefully having this standardised guidance will help everyone to follow the rules."