UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was "too early to say" when the nation will be able to start easing its nationwide lockdown as he warned the public to prepare for a "tough few weeks" ahead in the wake of grim new coronavirus data.
The Prime Minister is coming under mounting pressure from within his party to spell out more details on lifting any restrictions, but Johnson said the country's focus was on vaccinating the four most vulnerable groups.
"I think it's too early to say when we'll be able to lift some of the restrictions," he told media today.
"What we're seeing in the ONS data, in the REACT survey, we're seeing the contagiousness of the new variant that we saw arrive just before Christmas. There's no doubt it does spread very fast indeed."
England is entering week four of a seven-week lockdown which has seen bars, restaurants and most schools close.
Government figures just released show as of yesterday, a further 1290 people with coronavirus died in the UK.
A total of 4,973,248 people have now received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.