Thousands more people could face coronavirus restrictions after Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock refused to deny Britain could face an extra 'Tier 4'.

It was reported over the weekend that an extra tier could be added on top of the current Tier 3 measures if the new rules fail to bring infection rates down enough.

Areas currently under Tier 3 restrictions include Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Liverpool.

Under these measures, pubs and other places which don't serve food are ordered to close.

You are also not allowed to meet socially with anyone outside your household or support bubble.

Your Local Guardian: Health Secretary Matt HancockHealth Secretary Matt Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said areas would have to prove that their infection rate was 'coming down' before they could be removed from the strictest measures.

When asked about the possibility of a Tier 4, Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast: "We've always said all along that we take nothing off the table.

"Having said that, we have seen the rise in the number of cases has slowed a bit.

"The problem is it's still going up, and while it's still going up we've got to act to get it under control.

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"We rule nothing out but at the moment the three-tier system is what we working to and it's effective in slowing the growth of this virus but it hasn't brought the curve a halt."

Mr Hancock also suggested a vaccine would not provide an escape route from the social restrictions until next year.

Quizzed on Today about whether there would be some roll-out of a vaccine this year, he said: “Well, I don’t rule that out, but that is not my central expectation.

“The vaccine programme is progressing well.

“The leading candidates we’re in very close contact with.

“On my central expectation, I would expect the bulk of the roll-out to be in the first half of next year.”