Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove says it is his “fervent hope” that England’s new lockdown will end on 2 December – but that ministers will be “guided by the facts”.
The strict measures are due to come into force from Thursday.
Pubs, restaurants, gyms, non-essential shops and places of worship will close, but schools, colleges and universities can stay open.
The prime minister is expected to deliver a statement in the Commons today before a vote on the latest restrictions on Wednesday. Labour has said it will back the lockdown.
Boris Johnson said he expects the lockdown to last until 2 December, after which England’s regional tiered system will be reintroduced.
But Mr Gove told Newsmen that decisions would obviously be guided by the facts.