The Government has highlighted risks to the public if people relax their behaviour at this “crucial point” in the fight against the pandemic.
Health Secretary Mr Hancock told the public to “stay at home”, adding: “The British resolve during this pandemic has been astounding. We’ve all pulled together to help each other out.
“I know it’s been a long year but we can’t let up now. Everything we’re doing is bringing us one step closer to beating this virus.
“The vaccine roll out is going extremely well and is saving lives – but it is not the only way we will reduce infection rates and be able to get back to normality.
“So let’s keep going. I encourage everyone to keep playing their part and stay at home – keep washing your hands, wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance which will ensure that, together, we beat this.”
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty added: “Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but for now we must all continue to play our part in protecting the NHS and saving lives.”
Although the Prime Minister has set out his roadmap to return life to normal, the stay at home order remains in place until at least March 29 when people will be urged to “stay local”.
The Government warns that although the number of Covid-19 cases are falling, infection levels remain high with more than 1,000 people admitted to hospital every day.