England’s second national lockdown will be lifted next Wednesday when a revised three-tier system of restrictions will allow shops, gyms and hairdressers to reopen across the country.

But the prime minister warns it is not a “free for all”.

In Tier 1, the rule of six if meeting indoors or outdoors will apply. People will also be encouraged to work from home if they can.

In Tier 2, alcohol will only be served in hospitality settings as part of a substantial meal.

And in Tier 3 areas, pubs and restaurants will only be able to offer takeaway and delivery services, while indoor entertainment, hotels and other accommodation will close.

The previous 10pm curfew will be relaxed, with last orders now called at that time, allowing people to finish off their drinks and meals and for the premises to now shut at 11pm.

“I cannot say Christmas will be normal,” said Mr Johnson, suggesting “we don’t want to throw caution to the wind and allow the virus to flare up again and force us back into lockdown in January”.

The lifting of the lockdown will see non-essential shops, hairdressers, gyms and leisure facilities reopen across the whole of England; collective worship, weddings and all outdoor sports can resume, subject to social distancing, across the whole of England, the “rule of six” will return across England.

Mr Johnson also announced care homes will be able to have two visitors a week subject to tests.

Carlisle MP John Stevenson welcomed the new tier system. He said: “This is much more appropriate and has much more flexibility in it.

“We have to accept that the virus is still prevalent and we have to be vigilant and careful but as we are seeing substantial progress on vaccines we just hope that will be rolled out successfully in the new year.”

On the easing of restrictions for care homes, Mr Stevenson said: “I think this is really welcome news. It is something we are all glad to see return.”

Hayley Pearson, of G&S Fitness, Wigton, said: “It’s a relief to hear gyms are reopening again after a short but damaging second lockdown. I’m really looking forward to seeing members return.”

Martyn Yates Brown, who owns a gym in Aspatria, said: “I’m absolutely delighted, not just from a business point of view, but mainly for my loyal members, for their fitness and mental health.”