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4 January 2021, 06:55 | Updated: 4 January 2021, 08:28
The PM has warned that tougher restrictions may be needed to curb the rise in coronavirus cases.
Boris Johnson has said tougher lockdown measures could be imposed in the coming weeks in England.
As coronavirus cases continue to rise, the Prime Minister said many areas of the country will see stronger measures put in place, including the closure of schools.
When asked whether it may be necessary to introduce tougher ‘Tier 5’ restrictions, Mr Johnson told the BBC: “It may be that we need to do things in the next few weeks that will be tougher in many parts of the country.
“I’m fully, fully reconciled to that. And I bet the people of this country are reconciled to that.”
Asked what ‘tougher’ might mean, he added: “Until the vaccine really comes on stream in a massive way, we’re fighting this virus with the same set of tools.
“I’m not going to speculate now about what they … would be, clearly, school closures, which we had to do in March, is one of those … things… It’s not something we necessarily want to do.”
“What we’re doing now is using the tiering system, which is a very tough system and, alas, probably about to get tougher, to keep things under control. But we’ll review it.”
The Scottish government is set to meet today to consider ‘further action’, while Wales entered a nationwide lockdown on 20 December.
This comes after 20 million people in England were added to tier four, which is the toughest set of rules, on 31 December.
It means 78% of the population is now in tier four, under which non-essential shops and all hospitality are closed.
But there is some light at the end of the tunnel as the first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus jab are to be given this week.
More than half a million doses of the vaccine are ready for use today, which the Health Secretary has described as a ‘pivotal moment’ in the UK's fight against the virus.