UK still "long, long, long way off" lifting lockdown restrictions, Matt Hancock says
Spring babies, get ready for a second birthday under lockdown
Health secretary Matt Hancock has said the prospect of lifting lockdown restrictions is still a "long, long, long way off."
Hancock said the early evidence shows the current measures are starting to bring the Covid-19 cases down, but the NHS is still under "enormous" pressure.
Despite slight progress being made and vaccines being administered, Hancock emphasised the country is a "long, long, long way from them being low enough" to ease lockdown restrictions.
"There is early evidence that the lockdown is starting to bring cases down but we are a long, long, long way from being low enough because the case rate was incredibly high," he told Sky News's Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.
"You can see the pressure on the NHS - you can see it every day."
"We should be worried enough, all of us, about this pandemic to follow the rules and it is just so important that people do.
"This morning I've come out of my formal self-isolation, I haven't actually left the house yet because I haven't needed to."
He also said that 75 per cent of over 80s and 5,861,351 people in total have received their first vaccination jab.
Speaking about possible new variants entering the country, he added: "The new variant I really worry about is the one that is out there that hasn't been spotted."
Saturday 23rd January saw 33,552 new cases and 1,348 deaths.
New Zealand have not seen a Covid death since September.