Tightened new lockdown restrictions across England could mean a ban on overnight stays.

The Government is reportedly considering a raft of new social distancing measures in an attempt to get the rising wave of coronavirus infections under control, My London reports.

England will reportedly be divided into three different lockdown tiers from next week, Sky News reported earlier today.

The strictest tier, to be imposed in parts of the North, will see pubs, restaurants and leisure facilities closed and a financial compensation package introduced to support businesses.

Tier three also means all household mixing will be banned, according to a source familiar with the plan.

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This could cause further torment for couples who weren't living together when the pandemic hit, as many have been unable to spend much time with their significant other for months.

It's unclear whether there will be exemptions for couples or if the ban on household mixing will explicitly include overnight stays.

Meanwhile tier two will mean much the same restrictions as those currently in place in the North East and Merseyside – no household mixing in homes or gardens, and no household mixing in hospitality settings.

The ban will reportedly come into force in some parts of England next week, with the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg saying a formal announcement is not likely until Monday.

Meanwhile, pubs, restaurants and licensed cafes in most of Scotland are being barred from selling alcohol indoors for more than two weeks, it was announced yesterday.

Five Scottish health board areas are affected by the new rules – including Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley.

Outdoor bars, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to remain open up until 10pm and will be allowed to sell alcohol up to that time.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Let me be clear. We are not going back into lockdown today.

"We are not closing schools, colleges or universities.

"We are not halting the remobilisation of the NHS for non-Covid care. And we are not asking people to stay at home.

"So while the measures I announce today will feel like a backward step, they are in the interests of protecting our progress overall.

"It is by taking the tough but necessary action now, that we hope to avoid even tougher action in future."

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