Parts of Essex are set to be raised into Tier 2 Covid restrictions from today, with the new rules taking affect from as early as Saturday. 

An annoucement is expected from Matt Hancock in the House of Commons at 11.30am this morning.

Moving from Tier 1 - medium alert - to Tier 2 - high alert - would mean a ban on households mixing indoors, including in pubs, while the Rule of Six will still apply outdoors. 

>> Neighbours could face TWO different tiers of Covid restrictions if Essex raises risk alert

All non-essential journeys would be discouraged. 

The move comes after Essex County Council submitted a request in response to a rising number of confirmed cases, despite the threshold for the high alert not yet being met. 

The additional restrictions would not apply to Southend or Thurrock, which are unitary authorities. 

Meanwhile, MPs in the capital have been told London will move alongside Essex into Tier 2 at midnight on Friday.

More to follow