Boris Johnson has appeared muddled by his own coronavirus restrictions – giving conflicting messages on where social gatherings of up to six people are legal.
The prime minister was questioned about the latest rules coming into force for northeast England from midnight on Wednesday.
At first, he said people could meet indoors and outdoors in groups of six in areas where no additional restrictions are in place.
But during the news conference in Exeter, he added: “And in the North East and other areas where extra tight measures have been brought in, you should follow the guidance of local authorities.
“It’s six in a home or six in hospitality but as I understand it, not six outside.”
This is at odds with what residents in the North East have been told.
Guidelines have warned people in the region “not to mix with people outside their household or bubble in indoor settings, including pubs and restaurants”.
Labour has accused Mr Johnson of being “grossly incompetent”.
The party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “These new restrictions are due to come into force across huge parts of the country tonight.
“The government needs to get a grip.”