The prime minister was questioned about the latest COVID-19 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 coronavirus restrictions are in place.
But speaking during a news conference in Exeter, he added: “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.”
Official guidelines have warned people in the region “not to mix with people outside their household or bubble in indoor settings, including pubs and restaurants”.
And hospitality workers are obliged to “take steps to ensure that people do not socialise outside of their households inside and outside your premises”.
Mr Johnson finished his answer during an event to promote a planned skills revolution by admitting “clearly for everyone watching this, this is one of those things people will feel is confusing”.
“In the North East, new rules mean you cannot meet people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and your home.
The prime minister added those measures were “vital to control the spread of coronavirus and keep everyone safe”.
The party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “These new restrictions are due to come into force across huge parts of the country tonight.
© 2020 Sky UK
News – Coronavirus: Boris Johnson apologises for ‘misspeaking’ about new rules