To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders
Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications
| Last updated
Speaking in the House of Commons, he said the tighter measures would come into effect from one minute past midnight tonight (30 December).
The North East, parts of the North West, large swathes of the Midlands, and some areas in the South West will face the tightest levels of restrictions from tomorrow - under which people are told to 'stay at home' and follow rules broadly in line with the November national lockdown.
You can see the full updated tier list here - with the tiers as of tomorrow in brackets.
The health secretary also took the opportunity to emphasise that a brighter future for the country lies ahead following the approval of the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine earlier today (30 December).
He said: "We end 2020 still with great challenges but also with hope and confidence that in 2021 we have a brighter future ahead."
He added: "Everyone who wants one can get a vaccine."
Hancock also said the approval of the vaccine would enable the acceleration of the vaccination of NHS staff.
The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca, which is enough to vaccinate 50 million people.
It is the second vaccine approved for use in the UK after the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, which has been administered to more than 600,000 people so far.
Taken together, the UK has now ordered enough doses of approved vaccines to cover the entire population.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was first developed in the earlier part of this year, with volunteers taking part in trials.
It has since been tested on thousands of people and been approved for roll-out.
The vaccine is a genetically modified version of the common cold virus. It has been engineered to lay the foundations for a part of the coronavirus called the 'spike protein'.
It causes the body to produce this protein, which the immune system quickly stamps out. Then, when the person comes into contact with the deadly virus, it already knows how to deal with it.
Unlike the current vaccine, it doesn't need to be kept at incredibly low temperatures, meaning it is much easier to transport.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise Oxford University/AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine for use.
"This follows rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA, which has concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness."
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read