Although Boris Johnson said it was “great” that the country has managed to achieve its target of getting everyone in the top nine priority groups vaccinated by April 15, he warned Britons to still be cautious.
Mr Johnson said that, although the numbers of infections, hospital admissions and deaths are down, the reduction “has not been achieved by the vaccination programme” but rather the lockdown.
“Of course the vaccination programme has helped, but the bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown,” he said.
Speaking to reporters in Downing Street, he added that “As we unlock, the result will inevitably be that we will see more infection, sadly we will see more hospitalisation and deaths.
“People have just got to understand that.”
His comments come after the country entered phase two of its roadmap out of lockdown and indoor gyms, pubs and outdoor attractions all welcomed customers back on Monday.
People experiencing their first taste of freedom after months of being locked indoors rushed to the heart of the West End yesterday, while some queued up for hours outside retail shops.
Pictures and videos shared online also showed packed tables and at times very little social distancing among some groups.