London has been moved into the Government’s Tier 2 Covid level, whereby from Saturday there will be a ban on households mixing indoors.

Essex, York, Chesterfield and other areas will also move to the high-alert restrictions from this weekend, according to the health secretary Matt Hancock.

Households in these areas will also be banned from mixing socially in pubs and restaurants, but they are allowed to visit venues with people they already live with. It will still be possible to meet people outdoors but only in groups of up to six people.

London will move into Tier 2 on October 17, joining areas such as Newcastle and Durham.

Industry bodies have warned that the Tier 2 restrictions for London [and other areas] is the “death knell” for the struggling hospitality sector.

While pubs and restaurants can stay open, the reduction in group sizes – on top of the 10pm curfew – “could well be the death knell for many hospitality businesses”, according to UK Hospitality chief Kate Nicholls.

The latest measures will affect 3,640 pubs and 7,556 restaurants across London.

Tier 2 restrictions is expected to impact trade for many businesses and many will not have access to sufficient support to help them to stay open.

If London is moved into Tier 3 – the highest Covid level – it would mean businesses are forced to close by law, but they would be able to access grants and the updated furlough scheme.

Tier 3 restrictions are expected to be imposed on Greater Manchester and Lancashire, as well as parts of the Midlands. These areas would join Liverpool, which is currenly the only area in Tier 3.