Greater Manchester's Tier 3 allocation has frustrated local leaders, businesses and residents alike.
Infection rates have been falling across the region for a number of days - but it was not enough to convince the government to place it in a lower tier.
The region will now face the toughest set of measures in England when the national lockdown is lifted on December 2.
Only three places in the whole of the nation escaped either Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions, which both place stricter controls on the hospitality industry than with the previous tier system did.
But ministers have insisted that the allocations were decided fairly.
There are five key factors that ministers looked at when deciding which areas would be in which tiers. They are:
A written ministerial statement explains why Greater Manchester was placed under Tier 3 restrictions.
It reads: "While there has been continued improvement in Greater Manchester, weekly case rates remain very high, especially amongst those aged over 60, at around 260 per 100,000 people.
"The pressure on the local NHS is decreasing in some areas but remains a concern; Manchester University hospital and Pennine Acute Trust remain under significant pressure."
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said he believes the region should move down to Tier 2 at the first review if rates continue to fall.
The government says it will review the tiers every two weeks, with the first review set to take place by December 16.