THE whole of the UK, including the North-East and other areas in Tier 2 and Tier 1, could face Tier 3 restrictions this Christmas.

Millions of people could be cut off from their loved ones this Christmas after Environment Secretary George Eustice said families in separate households may not be allowed to mix.

He told Times Radio: “We want to be in a position where people can meet with family. Will it be able to happen on a large scale? Well, that might be harder, if we’re honest.

“We can’t say, if I’m honest, at this point exactly what the restrictions will be at Christmas, and I think that the Liberal Democrat proposal to have a road map for Christmas is the wrong way of looking at this, when we actually need a road map to address the virus, which is what we’re trying to do.

Mr Eustice said mixing between families who live in areas with different tier restrictions is “not provided for currently”, suggesting that they would not be able to meet on Christmas Day.

He added: “But within that, obviously, we’re going to do as much as possible ensure that people can celebrate Christmas.”

Comments come after widespread calls for a road map out of lockdown as well as four-nation Covid planning for Christmas.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said there must be a joined-up approach to rules for the likes of gatherings, public transport and the policy of getting students back to families.

Currently, those in Tier 2, like the North-East, can mix outdoors following the 'rule of six'. 

A further 22,885 people in the UK have tested positive for Covid as of Tuesday, October 27 and 852 are in hospital on ventilators as of Monday, October 26.