Boris Johnson has admitted that he couldn’t guarantee that there would be no further bans, although he insisted that “science is now undoubtedly on the upswing on the disease”.
The Prime Minister said at a press conference on Downing Street: “Obviously, I cannot give this guarantee because we are struggling with nature, with a disease that can mutate and change.”
“I am increasingly confident and optimistic about the great opportunities vaccines can offer.”
“I’m going to set up a schedule as much as possible that we can give on the 22nd and I am very hopeful that we will be able to open things up.”
Mr Johnson urged people to include reports of the loosening of lockdown restrictions “with a pinch of salt”.
The Prime Minister said: “We do not yet have enough clarity on the dates to be today, from this Monday the 15th, exactly what we can tell you on Monday the 22nd.”
“This is because the data is becoming clearer every day and we have to evaluate it further.
“And to be very clear, these decisions will be made later this week, but they haven’t been made yet.
“And I would humbly advise anyone who reads reports what we’re going to do … at this point and that time in the next few months to have them with a pinch of salt folks, because that’s still speculation.
“When I explain what we’re going to do on the 22nd, you’ll hear directly from me.”
Mr Johnson said he hoped heavy lockdowns would “run out of time”.
A member of the public named Hannah from Glasgow asked if a mental health specialist could be present at the next press conference.
In response, Mr. Johnson said, “Hannah, I think you are making a very valid point and we are going to try to find the right person to say something about how to do this and how we can encourage everyone to really care Take care of our spiritual well-being and Try to continue this pandemic.
“Because I hope it won’t take that long now, but the people have clearly been under a lot of pressure and we have to take care of it.”