Greater Manchester’s mayor said he hopes the region will only face the toughest government coronavirus restrictions for a couple of weeks.
Areas with the highest infection rates, including Greater Manchester, will go into tier three when lockdown ends.
Mayor Andy Burnham said that, although cases of coronavirus were still high locally, rates were declining.
He said if they continue to fall “we will be making the strongest possible argument” to be moved to tier two.
The area’s tier level may change before Christmas with a review scheduled for 16 December.
The new tier rules will come into force on Wednesday. In tier three, people can only meet other households in outdoor public spaces like parks, where the rule of six applies.
Gyms and close-contact beauty services like hairdressers will be able to open but in tier three, pubs and restaurants can only operate as a takeaway or delivery service.
Mr Burnham said: “I feel for people who have been living under restrictions for a long time now,” and called for additional support for businesses.
“The new tier three will hit the hospitality sector extremely hard. While there are grants for businesses forced to close, there is no extra support for business which supply them like security, catering and cleaning.
“This will cause real hardship for people whose jobs will be affected and risk the loss of many businesses.”