Ministers are considering putting the toughest coronavirus restrictions on areas including parts of the North East, South and West Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire.
Downing Street said discussions were under way on whether the areas should go into England's highest COVID-19 alert level.
The suggestion was not dampened by Downing Street on Monday, as coronavirus infections rise once again in the UK.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman revealed discussions about moving places out of the Tier 2 list were already going ahead with local politicians.
And one MP whose constituency could potentially be affected said he was "not that optimistic" they would escape fresh measures.
Barry Sheerman, who represents Huddersfield in the House of Commons, told YorkshireLive: "I hope against hope that we are not going to go into the third tier but I'm not that optimistic.
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"And I still think it's inevitable that we have a circuit breaker over the half-term. I would rather that we have a short, sharp shock than not tackling it seriously."