Rishi Sunak feared the coronavirus curbs could drag on longer when he dramatically extended the vacation program for another month.
The Chancellor said the big bailout will now last until the end of April to give companies "security", while companies will have access to emergency loans until the end of March.
He also confirmed the budget will take place on March 3 as he outlines the "next phase" of the government's Covid-19 recovery plan.
The vacation – which is likely to add another £ 5 billion to the government's mountain of debt – is a ominous sign that restrictions may last longer than hoped, with Boris Johnson previously hinting that life could normalize by next spring.
The Chancellor had already postponed the end of the October vacation, which is expected to add another £ 30 billion to the government's costs.
His decision to extend the vacation from the end of March to the end of April again prompted the Chancellor to give more support to the self-employed.
The Chancellor said: “We know that premium companies rely on security. So it is right that we enable them to plan ahead regardless of the path taken by the virus. So we're providing security and clarity by expanding this support as well as implementing our plan for jobs. & # 39;
As part of the vacation program, the government continues to pay 80 percent of workers' wages for hours worked until the end of April.
Employers only have to pay wages, social security contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked. and NICS and pensions for hours not worked.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the huge coronavirus vacation program will now last until the end of April, while businesses will have access to credit until the end of March
As this OBR chart shows, government borrowing could reach nearly £ 400 billion this year and is expected to remain at staggering levels through the mid-2020s
What does the vacation program cost?
The Treasury Department estimates the monthly cost at £ 1 billion per million vacation workers.
The Bank of England has announced that 5.5 million people will be on vacation, suggesting a bill of roughly £ 5.5 billion a month.
The Resolution Foundation think tank says the monthly cost could be even higher at £ 6.2 billion per month.
The latest animal changes
Move to level 3
Surrey apart from Waverley
Hastings and Rother
Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant
MOVEMENT FROM ANIMAL 3 TO ANIMAL 2
Bristol, North Somerset
MOVEMENT FROM ANIMAL 2 TO ANIMAL 1
Mr Hancock was furious today when he pushed numerous more counties to the top tier of draconian coronavirus restrictions starting this weekend and refused to budge on Manchester.
The Minister of Health was deemed "ridiculous" for delivering the grim news for England amid growing fears of an increase in cases.
Announcing the review of the levels in the House of Commons, he said large swaths of the Southeast will fall in Tier 3 including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, all of Hertfordshire, Surrey except Waverley, Hastings and Rother on Kent -Border of East Sussex and Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire.
It also shattered hopes that restrictions on Manchester, the Tees Valley and parts of the Midlands could be relaxed in what local leaders called a "kick in the teeth".
Mr Hancock announced that Bristol and North Somerset will be moved to Tier 2 in rare good news.
Herefordshire will switch to Tier 1 from midnight on Saturday morning.
The new measures mean that roughly 38 million people, or 68 percent of the population in England, will now be in the top tier – including the Queen at Windsor Castle.
In the meantime, a six-week lock-up period from Boxing Day was agreed by the Northern Irish executive on Thursday evening.
Ministers met several hours in the evening as the region struggled to quell the virus.
The announced measures are expected to include the closure of all non-essential retail and contact services while the hospitality sector is limited to take-away services only.
It is assumed that no changes will be made to the Christmas arrangements.
In more bad news, the government has announced that millions of secondary school students in England will delay their return to classrooms for up to a week in the New Year. Online classes are expected to resume to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.
Mr Hancock told MPs, "We need to be vigilant and keep this virus under control … we have come this far, we must not blow it up now."
He added, "This is a moment when we are acting with caution."
Mr Hancock said case rates in southern England rose 46 percent in the past week, while hospital admissions rose by more than a third. In the east of England, cases increased by two-thirds and hospital admissions increased by nearly half last week.
He also beat back complaints from low-infection areas in Kent about the county’s blanket status and urged residents to act as if they had the virus.
"It's the area of the country that has the biggest problem," said Hancock.
London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire have already been upgraded to the toughest curbs – meaning pubs and restaurants are takeaway only – after a sharp surge in infections – after infections soared.
Health experts had urged Boris Johnson not to lower Tier 3 areas to Tier 2 areas, but ministers were also warned of growing unrest in cities under the strictest restrictions.
While Tier 2 areas in Oxfordshire, East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, and Northamptonshire saw infections rise in the past seven days, rates fell in cities like Greater Manchester and Leeds.
Nighttime Tsar Sacha Lord of Greater Manchester said the decision to keep it at the highest level was a "kick in the teeth". Manchester Council President Richard Leese described it as "incredible".
What are the Tier 3 rules?
- Indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, theaters and bowling alleys must be closed.
- Pubs, restaurants and cafes must be closed except for takeout.
- Shops, hairdressers and salons can remain open;
- Groups of six people are only allowed to meet outdoors.
- Crowds at live events are prohibited.
- People should avoid traveling into or out of Tier 3 areas unless it is inevitable.
- People from separate households cannot meet inside and the rule of six applies outside.
Concerning Mr. Johnson, the 1922 Conservative Committee Chairman Sir Graham Brady also slammed the decisions.
He said his headquarters in Altrincham & Sale West had a lower infection rate than Bristol, which was downgraded.
"My constituents acted responsibly," he told Mr. Hancock. "What exactly do we have to do to get out of Tier 3?"
Stevenage Conservative MP Stephen McPartland said it was "ridiculous" that his area was escalating. "Totally unacceptable and clearly shows that I was right to vote against a second Lockdown & Tier system," he said.
"The government accepted on Monday that instead of this unbalanced nationwide approach, district-based levels should be introduced."
Tory MP for Northwest Leicestershire Andrew Bridgen said it was "disappointing news" that his constituency would remain in Tier 3. Mr Bridgen had asked for his area to be decoupled from Leicester, which has a much higher infection rate.
"It is disappointing news to my constituents who have worked so hard to quell the virus," he said.
The Federation of British Industries (CBI) said the expansion of the vacation program would bring "much-needed security and respite" to businesses.
Rain Newton-Smith, the organization's chief economist, said, “In the middle of a harsh winter, this will bring much-needed security and peace of mind to businesses.
“Stable employer contributions and an extension of the job retention program through April means the system continues to protect people's livelihoods.
"And with cash flow difficulties still at the fore for many business owners, continued access to government-backed credit will be great convenience through spring."
But Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds accused Mr. Sunak of making last minute decisions.
She said: “Once again, the Chancellor has waited until the last minute to act, leaving companies in the dark for less than 24 hours before issuing dismissals.
"Rishi Sunak's irresponsible last-minute decision-making has left Britain with the worst recession of any major economy."
Prior to the announcement, Mr. Sunak gave another hint of impending tax hikes, warning that it would be "morally, economically and politically" wrong to take out large loans.
The Chancellor said that if Britain were not to get a grip on the structural deficit caused by the Turonavirus turmoil, Britain would face "future shocks".
In an obvious shot over the bow of Mr Johnson's instincts of free spending, he also warned that this could be disastrous for the Conservatives as there would not be "much difference between us and the Labor Party."
Almost 38 million people will be subject to the highest restrictions in England by the weekend
The government released a narrative explanation of why their decisions were made for each area of the country
Millions of high school students are struggling to return late after Christmas
Millions of secondary school students in England will delay their return to school for up to a week after the Christmas break amid a Covid crisis in the classroom.
Downing Street confirmed that the planned restart on January 4th and 5th would be "staggered" through the use of online lessons. Full face-to-face learning begins on January 11th.
Figures show that more than half of schools in England had coronavirus cases in the first two weeks after the November lockdown, and 12 to 18 year olds have the highest rates of infection of any age.
The move comes just days after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson took legal action against London councils who wanted schools to close before Christmas.
When asked in an interview with The Spectator magazine about the massive size of government borrowing, which could reach nearly £ 400 billion this year and is expected to stay on par through the mid-2020s, Sunak said it was not enough to rely on interest rates to stay at historically low levels.
& # 39; It is unsustainable to borrow at these levels. Morally, economically, or politically I don't think it's right, ”he said.
Mr. Sunak added, “A structural deficit in the years to come with increasing debt?
“That won't build the resilience you need to deal with future shock and someone else will be in my chair.
"We've had two of these things in a decade now: Who knows what the next shock will be?"
The Chancellor explained the political threat posed by the continuation of the rise, saying the Tories could not create the impression that "debt increases are okay".
"If we believe that borrowing is the answer to all that debt increases are okay, then there isn't much difference between us and the Labor Party," he said.
"I'm worried about what that means for us politically across the board."
Referring to former Cabinet Secretary Lord Hague, whose constituency he inherited in Richmond, Mr. Sunak also suggested that action will be required in good time before the next elections.
"William Hague always tells me you can't fatten pigs on market day," he said.
In an overt shot of Boris Johnson's instinct for free spending, Mr Sunak warned that accepting ongoing borrowing would mean there is no "big difference between us and the Labor Party."
Mr Sunak was also asked about the idea of a one-time fortune levy to fill the coronavirus black hole in finances.
Last week the Wealth Tax Commission introduced a five-year tax of 1 percent on individuals with personal wealth greater than £ 500,000 that could bring in £ 260 billion.
However, Mr. Sunak sounded in agreement with critics who warned that it would punish wealthy, low-cash families and force home sales.
While admitting that he had not read the report, the Chancellor said, “I think that is correct in the sense that we are a party that believes in aspiration.
"Actually, we should celebrate the pursuit."
"I'm in tears, totally drained": Entrepreneurs in areas where Tier 3 Covid is banned are "absolutely devastated" as pubs, restaurants, theaters and more are forced to close
Devastated business owners are in their arms about the expansion of Matt Hancock's Tier 3 curbs across much of southern England amid rising coronavirus cases.
Around four million people will be placed in the toughest restrictions as of Friday, with local restaurateurs, hoteliers and theater owners being forced to either stay closed or close their premises during the Christmas season.
Thousands of planned family outings to Legoland and Lapland UK in Berkshire, as well as Center Parcs in Sherwood, are now in jeopardy as cancellations loom on the horizon.
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Watford has been closed in anticipation of the move to animal restrictions and has extended the refund period to all visits from December 16 through January 3 inclusive.
MPs and city councilors have blown up the Minister of Health's "bizarre" and "ludicrous" actions, while hospitality bosses have warned that Tier 3 restrictions will plunge "despair and heartbreak" companies that are already on the verge .
Much of the east and south of England are rated Tier 3, including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey with the exception of Waverley, Hastings and Rother on the Kent border of East Sussex and Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire.
'It's pretty scary': Peterborough restaurateurs fear he'll close the doors for good, and fear that the toll closure will take over his family
Paul Sharma opened the 2020 World Buffet in Peterborough just two days before the first lockdown in March and has seen a stop-start for nine months since then.
Now, having been inducted into Tier 3 today, he fears he will have to shut his doors for good as the financial repercussions affect his young family.
He told MailOnline: 'It's really tough times and it's pretty scary to be honest.
“We are a buffet restaurant so it is difficult to provide take away service, or if we did it would cost too much.
“It's a big place, we can get almost 500 people in, and there were about 100 bookings a day over the Christmas period that we now have to cancel.
& # 39; Fixed costs and employee salaries are around £ 25,000 a week. Other than Eat Out to Help Out, which we really benefited from, we only made £ 5,000 or £ 6,000 a week.
“We currently have 27 full-time and part-time employees and luckily the vacation program is being extended, but if we want to stay open I still have to pay the running costs and the debt is starting to rise.
“For me personally it's a little scary because I have two children aged eight and eleven and the family relies on me because we have no other source of income.
"We have only received £ 3,000 in government aid since the pandemic started, but we need a lot more than that to survive."
This means around 38 million people, or 68 percent of the population, will now be in the top tier – including the Queen at Windsor Castle.
A high-end steak restaurant in Berkshire must now cancel all 80 bookings over Christmas through January 1st from now on. The cost is estimated at £ 12,000.
The Herd Restaurant in Pangbourne, which is part of the Elephant Hotel, opened under Tier 2 restrictions on December 3rd after it closed its doors during the second national closure – at a cost of thousands of pounds in anti Covid equipment.
It must now close its doors indefinitely, destroy festive family plans by canceling restaurant and hotel reservations, kicking guests out of the hotel from Friday, and putting all 25 restaurant employees back on vacation.
General Manager Chris Lowe told MailOnline that the move to Tier 3 would cost the restaurant an estimated £ 12,000 and the hotel around £ 5,000.
Calling the lockdown “a nightmare”, he added, “I know the government is probably trying to do the right thing, but closing everything again during the Christmas break will be disastrous.
“We had to basically ruin the Christmas plans for families traveling to the area to visit their friends and families. Many of them now have nowhere else to stay, so their vacations are all in the air for that very reason.
"The lockdown is a nightmare, local businesses – restaurants, pubs, hairdressers, mom and pop shops – all lose money and a lot of it."
Landlord David Cairns said he had to cancel bookings for the Tap in Portsmouth on Christmas Day and called it "a little damn". In an interview with MailOnline he raged: “If you have to save lives, you have to save lives, but I am disappointed.
& # 39; It's going to have a massive impact on my business. The week from Christmas to New Year is a crucial time for us and brings a lot of sales. & # 39;
Steve Banfield, who runs the Brown Bear Pub in Hertfordshire, said he was "resigned" with the sudden move to Tier 3, telling MailOnline, "It's hard sometimes not to believe that they are trying to decimate the pub industry . "
“I'm really frustrated with the locals who like to come to the pub at the end of the week, have a beer and chew the fat with their friends.
“We've had a few cases down here, and that's probably because people who have alcohol aren't pursuing social distancing. But what fun is a pub if you can't relax with your friends and disrupt reality for a moment? & # 39;
An enraged Peterborough innkeeper said the Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions are "effectively ceasing trading" as he believes people won't be ordering take-away pints from his venue over the Christmas break.
Andrew Ruddy of Ruddy Duck Peakirk said the constant reopening and closing this year was a "huge waste of money" and admitted that his biggest concern was rent.
"I think hospitality is being blamed for the spread, although there is no evidence that it spreads in pubs," he told MailOnline.
“In a way, getting started with Tier 3 is a relief for us, as trying to operate in Tier 2 was simply not feasible. We don't benefit from grants in the same way, and we've spent thousands of pounds keeping the place safe.
"It was all a huge waste of money, and now we are literally out of income – we have to use grants to cover our bills and rent."
The Herd Restaurant in Pangbourne will now have to cancel all 80 bookings over Christmas through January 1st. The cost is estimated at £ 12,000
David Cairns, 35, owner of The Tap in Portsmouth, told MailOnline: “I've booked a lot of people for Christmas Day and now I have to tell them they can't come – and that's a bit s ** * & # 39 ;
The Kings Theater in Portsmouth announced that it would postpone all performances of its Dick Whittington pantomime from Friday to the New Year. Above, actors play Jack and the Beanstalk on December 2nd at the York Theater Royal in York
Tearful and ruined small business owners are in their arms as Matt Hancock's draconian Tier 3 curbs stretch across much of southern England
Large parts of southern England are rated Tier 3, including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey with the exception of Waverley, Hastings and Rother on the Kent border of East Sussex and Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire
"I have 400 potatoes to get rid of!": Southsea landlady has to dispose of supplies while the area is being submerged in Tier 3
Ally Vernon, who has been the owner of the award-winning Lawrence Arms in Southsea for 10 years, is expected to be fully booked on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, serving a total of 60 customers at once.
However, since the region has been ramped up to level 3, it is now trying to dump 400 potatoes that would otherwise be wasted.
She told MailOnline, "We have planned things within the constraints to give people a little bit of Christmas presents, especially lonely people who may not have someone to spend it with."
Fortunately, the enforced cancellations are not going to be an incredible blow to Ms. Vernon as she hasn't bought large amounts of stock.
"Companies haven't held as many stocks since the last lockdown," she said, adding that people are "more aware" that things may suddenly change, as it is today.
"But I have an abundance of potatoes and cheese and will be calling the local grocery bank as I don't think customers will be able to manage all of that in the next two days."
She employs a total of six people at the Lawrence Arms, but only two have returned to work while the rest are on vacation.
"The staff were very keen to keep working," she said. "The pub is a very social place and a good place to work."
However, the constant changes in the rules have forced them to completely overhaul the pub in the past year.
She told MailOnline: “I found myself changing business over a cup of tea in my pajamas. In March we were a wet run pub showing Pompey fans Sky Sports for dinner on a Saturday. & # 39;
Since Portsmouth's Stage 3 fate was announced today for Saturday, she has said, “My phone has not stopped ringing since noon. People want their last pint of 2020. & # 39;
The landlady Lili Collier at Broad Street Tavern in Wokingham said that eateries across England "are being punished for being open".
She told MailOnline that the pub, which reopened July 30th to make sure it was fully Covid compliant and closed for the second national closure, paid nearly £ 10,000 for an outdoor marquee – just by one to be closed third time.
The seven year old landlady said: “It would be nice if we had a little knowledge. We spend all this money on food and drink and have to throw it away, it's such a waste – especially since there are people who go to their food banks to find something for tonight.
“We want to know what's right here. We never complained, we followed all the rules, all government requirements, and now we are being punished for being open. We don't understand if the Christmas bubbles are applying more, it's all a mess. & # 39;
Simon Dennis, who works at a family-run restaurant in Luton, announced that his manager had called him in tears of frustration as he switched to Tier 3.
“I just tearfully had my restaurant manager on the phone. Open, close, open, close. Make up your mind, ”he tweeted.
“No company can work like this. And £ 2,000 for closing in November! Didn't even cover half my rent. There will be nothing left for 2021. Do more & # 39 ;.
A Peterborough mother who works for Buzz Talent said she was "utterly devastated" by the move. & # 39;Peterborough is moving into Tier 3, which means I have to close my business again and have no financial support at all, ”she tweeted.
"We only opened in September and spent most of the time closed."
The owner of a mobile bar called Webster & # 39; s Bar Box in south east England said she was "gutted, heartbroken and fed up".
"Tier 3 means my little pub business has to close again tomorrow," she tweeted, adding, "I'm in tears, completely drained."
Das Kings Theatre in Portsmouth gab bekannt, dass es alle Aufführungen seiner Pantomime von Dick Whittington von Freitag auf das neue Jahr verschieben werde.
"Leider wird Freitag, der 18. Dezember, um 19 Uhr unsere letzte Vorstellung sein, bis Portsmouth aus Tier 3 zurückkommt", heißt es in einer Erklärung.
"Wir sind so stolz auf das, was wir mit unserem ersten Pompey Panto erreicht haben, und sind am Boden zerstört, dass die Show über Weihnachten geschlossen werden muss, während wir in Tier 3 sind."
Das luxuriöse Vier-Sterne-Hotel Gibbon Bridge im Forest of Bowland in Lancashire kündigte an, dass es geschlossen bleiben müsse, da die Region nicht aus den Tier 3-Beschränkungen herausgenommen werde.
Es fügte hinzu, dass es "enttäuscht" sei, Weihnachtsreservierungen nicht "ehren" zu können, und twitterte: "Unsere Region bleibt in Tier 3.
„Obwohl dies völlig außerhalb unserer Hände liegt, können wir Ihnen nicht sagen, wie enttäuscht und traurig es ist, dass wir Ihre Weihnachtsreservierungen nicht einhalten oder die festliche Jahreszeit für Sie etwas spezieller gestalten können. Pass auf dich auf und bis bald.'
UKHospitality warnte davor, dass mehr Gebiete in Tier 3 ruiniert werden Weihnachten für die Unternehmen, die eintreten, und anhaltende Verzweiflung und Herzschmerz für die Unternehmen, die unter Druck standen und gehofft hatten, in Tier 2 einzusteigen.
Die Geschäftsführerin Kate Nicholls sagte gegenüber MailOnline: "Was bereits wie ein trostloses Weihnachtsfest aussah, sieht jetzt wie eine totale Abschreibung aus."
Tränenreiche und zerstörte Kleinunternehmer sind über die Ausdehnung von Matt Hancocks drakonischen Tier-3-Bordsteinen über weite Teile von Südengland in den Armen
Wie viele Personen werden in jeder Stufe sein, wenn neue Zuweisungen wirksam werden?
Tier 1 – 906.374
Rang 2 – 17.488.082
Tier 3 – 37.892.505
Nach welchen Kriterien weist die Regierung Ebenen zu?
- Fallerkennungsraten in allen Altersgruppen
- Fallerkennungsraten in den über 60er Jahren
- Die Rate, mit der Fälle steigen oder fallen
- Positivitätsrate (die Anzahl der festgestellten positiven Fälle als Prozentsatz der durchgeführten Tests)
- Druck auf den NHS
"Unternehmen werden Aktien gekauft haben, die jetzt verschwendet werden, und mehr Menschen werden in einer stressigen Zeit ihre Arbeit verlieren", behauptete sie.
'Hotels sind jetzt mit einer Flut kurzfristiger Stornierungen konfrontiert, da die Beschränkungen verschärft werden. Was schon wie ein trostloses Weihnachtsfest aussah, sieht jetzt wie eine totale Abschreibung aus.
'Dies wird ein bitterer Schlag für Unternehmen sein, die gehofft hätten, das Beste aus einer schwierigen Weihnachtszeit herauszuholen.
'Die zunehmenden Beschränkungen, die für die meisten praktisch eine vollständige Abschaltung bedeuten, werden es für Unternehmen noch schwieriger machen, so wenig wie möglich aus einer arbeitsreichen Zeit herauszuholen.
'Mehr finanzielle Unterstützung wird am ehesten kommen, wenn wir hoffen wollen, dass diese Unternehmen überleben. Sie können ihren Weg aus der Gefahr im nächsten Jahr nur dann finden, wenn sie noch dazu in der Nähe sind. & # 39;
Die Kampagne für Pubs warnte vor "einer weit verbreiteten Angst und Wut, die von Zöllnern geteilt wird, die sich jetzt auf unbekanntem Gebiet befinden".
Sein Sprecher Alastair Kerr sagte gegenüber MailOnline: "Für die vielen Zöllner in Tier 2, die sich jetzt in Tier 3 befinden, sind dies verheerende Neuigkeiten – insbesondere eine Woche vor Weihnachten, die eine geschäftige Handelszeit sein sollten."
"Es ist klar, dass sich der Gastgewerbesektor nicht weiter öffnen kann, nur um aufgefordert zu werden, mit keiner oder nur sehr geringer wirtschaftlicher Unterstützung der Regierung wieder zu schließen", fügte er hinzu.
Die British Beer & Pub Association sagte, dass "dauerhafte Schließungen, verlorene Lebensgrundlagen und die Zerstörung von geschätzten Einheimischen in der Gemeinde mit dem Wechsel zu Tier 3 leider unvermeidlich sind".
Die Geschäftsführerin Emma McClarkin sagte: 'Das heute angekündigte Update zu Tier-Beschränkungen ist nicht die Verschiebung in die richtige Richtung, die unser Sektor dringend benötigt und erhofft hat.
'Mehr Regionen, die Tier 3-Beschränkungen unterliegen, bedeuten mehr geschlossene Geschäfte, sodass die Zukunft der britischen Pubs zu Weihnachten wirklich an einem Faden hängen bleibt.
'Es ist klar, dass es länger dauern wird, als wir gedacht haben, bis unsere Pubs richtig öffnen und wieder lebensfähige Geschäfte sein können.
„Die britische Regierung kann und sollte dem Beispiel von Wales folgen, das Pubs mit ähnlichen Einschränkungen und Schließungen viermal mehr finanzielle Unterstützung bietet als die in England. Einige Pubs in Wales erhalten sogar noch mehr.
'Der Premierminister und der Kanzler haben keine Ausreden. Sie müssen jetzt Pubs und Arbeitsplätze sichern, indem sie den Einheimischen in England die gleiche Unterstützung geben wie denen in Wales. Without such support, a wave of pub closures is guaranteed at a time when they should be leading the economic recovery.'
It means around 38 million people, or 68 per cent of the population, will now be subject to the top bracket – including the Queen at Windsor Castle
The number of deaths from Covid-19 has increased by 14 percent compared to the previous week. 612 new victims were reported today, compared to 533 a week ago. It is the second day in a row that daily infections rose by more than 50 per cent after 18,450 positive tests were announced on Tuesday
Tory MP for Stevenage Stephen McPartland said that it is 'ridiculous that we are being dragged into Tier 3'.
He tweeted that the move is 'totally unacceptable' and 'clearly shows I was right to vote against a second lockdown and tier system'.
'Government accepted on Monday that tiers should be imposed on a district basis instead of this unbalanced county-wide approach,' he added.
Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the Liberal Democrat leader of Portsmouth City Council, said the decision to put the Hampshire city into Tier 3 was 'bizarre' when other authorities that required care provided by the city's Queen Alexandra Hospital had not been moved up.
He said other local authorities such as Fareham and Winchester City were within a mile-and-a-half of the hospital.
'It's not unexpected but I am slightly surprised as we have been told the problem is the Queen Alexandra Hospital, which doesn't just serve Portsmouth, just a third of its intake is from Portsmouth and two-thirds from others around including areas which are within a mile,' he said.
'The Government's ability to get things right seems to be not great but the Government has made a number of bizarre decisions, so it's no surprise they have made another one.'
The leader of Surrey County Council has said residents and businesses will find most of the county moving into Tier 3 'very disappointing news' at the end of an 'exceptionally difficult year'. The area of Waverley will remain in Tier 2.
Tim Oliver said: 'We need to take swift action to save lives and stop our crucial NHS services from being put under even more pressure.
'We all need to be extremely vigilant, including residents in Waverley, as the situation can change quickly and we want to prevent them going into Tier 3 in the new year.'
He urged people to follow the bubbles guidance over Christmas and added: 'There is hope on the horizon with the rollout of the vaccine across the county, starting with the over-80s.
'But it will take time and we cannot let our guard down. The coming weeks will be a challenge to us all, but it is crucial that we reduce the spread of this virus and get through the winter as safely as possible.'
Cllr Peter Marland of Milton Keynes Council claimed the local authority had no prior notification of moving into Tier 3.
'We were missed off the statement in Parliament. Utter shambles,' he tweeted. 'For clarity on Covid-19 matters we are in NHS England East and grouped with Bedfordshire (we think)'.
Will you have to close your business when you move from Tier 2 to Tier 3? Tell us about your experience by emailing – firstname.lastname@example.org
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