STRINGENT coronavirus rules will be needed to “bear down” on the disease after the national lockdown, the government says.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke about the new rules and the need to have different tiers across the country into the winter and spring.

It comes as a further 229 lost their life to Covid-19 in UK hospitals.

Some studies have shown as many as 73,000 people may have died in the pandemic in the UK so far this year, PA reported.

But Mr Raab offered some hope to business when he said some areas could be downgraded if the virus is in retreat.

Speaking on Sky News he said: “The reality is that we want to come out of national lockdown and stay out of it.

“There is hope and there is light at the end of the tunnel at the prospect of regulatory approval of the vaccine being ready to be in place and distributed by the spring, which will allow a real step-change back to life resembling normal.

“The two things we need between now and then are this tiered approach so that we target the virus where it is the most dangerous.

“We are starting with a more restrictive approach than previously with the localised approach, but that allows us to ease up when we are confident the virus is going down and stabilised - there’s a review every two weeks.”

Mr Raab pointed to community testing, and said 12 million tests have been done. So far more than 1.6 million people have tested positive for the disease.

Two million more samples of the Moderna vaccine have been ordered, taking the total to seven million.

The jabs will have to be approved, but could be as much as 95 per cent effective.

Mr Raab said: “If you don’t apply on a wider levels - which is why we’re using the countywide basis - the same restrictions, all that happens is the virus in those lower levels... goes up exponentially.”