Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, will announce changes to England’s Tier system.
It comes after Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, said ministers will need to “overcompensate” for the Christmas bubble “mistake” by keeping more areas in higher tiers.
– School Christmas holidays to be extended by a week for mass testing
The Christmas holiday will be extended by a week for some secondary school children to enable the rollout of mass Covid testing for pupils at the start of the new term.
The Government will announce a staggered return of children in different academic year groups, with years 11 and 13 first to go back so they can resume GCSE and A-level studies.
The move comes amid warnings that the relaxation of social distancing rules for five days over Christmas will lead to a spike in coronavirus infections and deaths.
The NEU teaching union had urged the Government to move teaching online for the first week of term to give schools time to train staff in administering Covid tests.
Instead, The Telegraph understands that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will announce the staggered return, beginning on Jan 4. All pupils will be back at school by Jan 11, one week later.