"We want to make sure that we take all the prudential, all the cautious steps now that we could take," he said, adding that “meetings are going on to consider exactly what we need to do.”
Johnson's remarks came in the wake of spikes of new variants in some areas in Britain. So far scientists studying new variants have identified 1,723 cases of the Indian variant known as B1617.2.
Although some of these will be duplicates, it is more than triple Public Health England's confirmed figure last week of 520. Despite scientific warnings, Johnson confirmed that the lockdown in England will be lifted next week.
The number of daily COVID deaths in UK since the peak three months ago.
This is plotted on a logarithmic axis. A straight line on a log axis shows exponential change with a constant rate – in this case exponential decay.
From May 17, pubs, bars, and restaurants will be permitted to open indoors, while indoor entertainment will also resume, including cinemas, museums, and children's play areas.
People will be also allowed to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30 people, and meet indoors in groups of up to six or as two households. Meanwhile, all remaining accommodation including hotels, hostels, and B&Bs can reopen from next Monday.
The British government's roadmap is expected to see all legal limits on social contact to be removed on June 21. However, some experts believe more urgent action is needed to tackle the situation. So far, over 35.7 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine.