Sir Keir Starmer has said Labour will not be “voting down” the 22:00 curfew for pubs next week, instead saying the rule “needs to be reformed”.
The Labour leader criticised the “up, down, take-it-or-leave-it vote” due on Tuesday, saying it would leave no restrictions in place if lost by the government.
“That’s not what we want,” he said. “That’s not in the nation’s interest.”
It comes amongst growing criticism of local lockdown policy from Tory MPs.
A number of backbench rebels are expected to vote down the curfew measure when it comes to the Commons next week.
Earlier this week, Tory rebels tried unsuccessfully to persuade Labour to vote against continuing with the “rule of six” restriction socialising in England.
Despite agreeing with many of their criticisms about the lack of scientific evidence for the rule, shadow health minister Justin Madders abstained, along with other Labour MPs.
Sir Keir has previously refused to say which way Labour would vote on the curfew rule, saying the prime minister “needs to make his case” about how the 10pm cut-off reduces transmission and “the ball very firmly is in his court”.
Meanwhile, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed further restrictions are expected to come into force in England “in the coming days” after a surge in cases across the country.
The BBC was told pubs and restaurants could be closed in the worst-affected areas, as well as a ban on overnight stays away from home.
All pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England have been required to close at 10pm since 24 September, as part of a package of measures to try and contain the rise in positive results.