MPs are to be given a vote on a proposed new framework for coronavirus restrictions in England, Conservative chief whip Mark Spencer has said.
The approach, which will see three tiers of curbs based on infection rates in different areas, is set to be announced by ministers next week.
No 10 recently promised Parliament a say on new national restrictions to stave off a rebellion by Tory MPs.
Mr Spencer suggested the tiered system was “being worked on at the moment”.
He told BBC Radio Nottingham that ministers and scientific advisers were striving to come up with a “very clear and easily understood system…so we all know what the aim is”.
The government is under pressure to simplify the patchwork of different restrictions in force across much of the North of England amid concerns from MPs and local leaders that they are confusing, inflexible and in some instances, disproportionate.
One of Boris Johnson’s chief aides is holding talks later with the mayors of Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle amid criticism they have not been properly consulted.
Ministers had been expected to announce the new system of tiered restrictions this week but there were reports this has been delayed due to disagreements within cabinet.
According to a memo seen by the BBC last week, restrictions would be rationalised into three tiers, depending on the level of infection in a particular area.
Two weeks ago, Tory MPs unhappy with lack of Parliamentary scrutiny over local lockdowns forced the government to agree to give them a vote before any new nationwide curbs come into force.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the “convention” would apply to significant announcements applying to the whole of the UK and England although the threshold for what would trigger a vote in Parliament is still not clear.
Mr Spencer, who is in charge of maintaining discipline on the Conservative benches, told BBC Radio Nottingham that the government would honour its promise to its MPs.
He said he hoped the vote would take place next week and the new system would kick in immediately if it was approved by MPs.”
Asked about the reported delay in officially announcing the plan, which was briefed to selected newspapers on Wednesday, he said it was “important to get this right rather than fast as it would be very easy to announce something that isn’t going to work”.
The new system, he suggested, would be similar to the current approach used by government based on infection rates but with greater flexibility built in.
“As we see the disease increase we will obviously go up those tiers but if we can all observe the social distancing and make sure we keep away from each other the disease will hopefully start to go down in number and then we can ease off that again.”