The government must move forward with a new “three-tier” approach to coronavirus restrictions in local areas of England, according to the BBC.
The Health Ministry confirmed last month that the system is under review – but it has now been approved by government officials and politicians.
According to a note seen by the BBC, public health officials will receive specific proposals later Thursday.
The Ministry of Health said there was “no imminent change” expected.
A spokesperson for No 10 added: “We are continuing to review all the measures that we have put in place – if there is anything to be clarified, we will do so in the Assembly.”
The government’s goal is to replace the patchwork of existing Covid-19 restrictions across the country.
Areas that enter the first tier will have fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 population and will need to comply with national restrictions – such as the “rule of six” and social distancing.
Level two would be initiated when cases are over 100 per 100,000. Restrictions on these areas would be similar to those currently in place in large parts of northern England, such as a ban on family reunions.
And level three zones would have significantly higher rates and face full lockdowns – excluding schools and essential businesses, like supermarkets.
The memo seen by the BBC shows additional funding projects for local authorities placed in levels two or three.
Local authorities would receive £ 1 per capita if placed at level two and £ 2 per capita for level three.
When all areas are “mapped” on the new system, it is not expected that any areas will be moved to level three at this point.
The BBC understands that there are concerns within Public Health England at the speed of the transition.
But there is also a recognition that the new system could “simplify and streamline the current setup”.