UK PM Johnson: No decisions on exact date of opening of schools

"If because of the rate of infection, we have to push something off a little bit to the right - delay it for a little bit - we won't hesitate to do that".

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, the PM said he said: 'We want this lockdown to be the last.

He said no decisions were being taken ahead of the unveiling of his roadmap out of England's restrictions, but said the government wanted this lockdown "to be the last", with "cautious but irreversible" progress. "If we possibly can, we'll be setting out dates".

"We've just come through the finishing line of the first sprint", he said, "and now we've got a second sprint between now and April 30 to extend the number of vaccinations given to the higher risk groups of the population before moving onto the marathon".

He added: "I think inevitably there will be great interest in ideas like can you show that you had a vaccination against Covid in the way that you sometimes have to show you have had a vaccination against yellow fever or other diseases in order to travel somewhere".

"I'm really, really proud of the team, we hit it two days early, and right across the whole of the United Kingdom, managing to ensure that everybody in groups one to four is offered a jab, and got 15 million jabs done", Mr Hancock told Sky News. It's the target date.

He said: "We may have to do that this year because there are several variants that look very similar to one another in many ways which actually could have slightly reduced - not completely reduced but slightly reduced or in some cases more than slightly reduced - effectiveness from the vaccine".

Just last week Health Secretary Matt Hancock was asked in the Commons if "the level of virus in circulation" would be used to determine when lockdown can be lifted and replied: 'No'.

"In which case we then redesign the vaccine - scientists redesign the vaccine - and that allows us to revaccinate against the new variant".

Yesterday there were 230 deaths reported, the lowest since Boxing Day, hospital admissions have fallen 25 per cent in a week and more than 15million people have had their first dose of vaccine. The risk the Government has is public opinion starts to change - people will say "I've had my jabs, why can't I go to the pub?"' "I think that, in combination with vaccination, will probably be the route forward".