Boris Johnson has set out his hope that the current COVID lockdown will be the last – thanks to the “unprecedented” vaccine rollout.
Speaking at a Downing Street news conference, the prime minister hailed the “astonishing efforts” of everyone involved in the delivery of COVID jabs after the government met its target of offering a first dose to 15 million of the most vulnerable.
He praised the “unprecedented national achievement”, but said that now was “no moment to relax” as the vaccine rollout moves on to the next five priority groups.
Mr Johnson reiterated his intention to next week set out how England’s third national lockdown will be eased.
“Next week I’ll be setting out a roadmap saying as much as we possibly can about the route to normality, even though some things are very uncertain,” he said.
“Because we want this lockdown to be the last and we want progress to be cautious but also irreversible.
“So please continue to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Earlier on Monday, it was announced the UK had recorded another 230 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.
Another 9,765 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the latest government figures, with more than 15.3 million people having now received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.