Gyms and non-essential shops in all areas are expected to be allowed to reopen when England's lockdown ends.

The Prime Minister is expected to explain the nation's return to a tier system when the second lockdown ends on December 2 today.

The new 'three-tier system' will still impose limitations on some businesses such as pubs which will have stricter restrictions depending on each tier.

At tier three, things would remain similar to lockdown with pubs only able to open in a takeaway capacity while tier two would only see pub which serve food open.

It is also expected that pubs can stay open until 11pm.

Meanwhile, mass testing will be rolled out in all areas.

The full details of what each area's tier will be should be announced on Thursday.

Gyms and other non-essential shops could be set for a reprieve since being forced to close shop on November 5.

They are expected to reopen in all areas across England.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock acknowledged the new measures were tougher than those that were in place under the previous three-tier system.

But with the roll-out of a mass vaccination programme not expected until next year, he said it was essential that the disease was kept under control over the winter.

“We know that this virus can accelerate very fast if there are not measures in place. It is so important that the measures that are in place continue until the vaccine can make us safe,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“I am very glad to see in the data that the number of cases across the UK is clearly starting to fall. That is good news.

“Therefore, in England, when the lockdown measures come to an end on December 2, we can be confident that they can be replaced with a tiered system, but the top tier is going to have to be tougher than the previous top tier because before it managed to flatten the curve but not have it fall.”

However, Andy Burnham – who clashed with ministers over the imposition of Tier 3 controls in Greater Manchester before the lockdown – warned the new measures would hit the hospitality sector disproportionately.

“I am worried about what I am hearing this morning. It seems that a toughened Tier 3 could be devastating for the hospitality industry and will hit cities and the city economy very, very hard indeed,” he told the Today programme.

“They seem to be going too far before Christmas to allow too much over Christmas and that will lead to a huge loss of hospitality businesses, which I would say is too big a price to pay.

“To close all hospitality businesses in Tier 3 areas – that will be large parts of the North – that will be devastating for many of those businesses. They will not survive that.”