Dominic Raab has insisted that the Prime Minister is being “realistic” in his assertions that the tiered system could end in nine weeks, in early February.
While the government originally suggested the restrictions would last until Easter, Boris Johnson told Tory MPs last night that regulations “have a sunset of 3 February” in an attempt to head off a major rebellion.
Asked if the Prime Minister’s message needs to be more “realistic” by Sky’s Sophy Ridge, the Foreign Secretary replied: “We do, and I think he is in fairness.”
He added: “We’ve seen the success of the vaccine through the trial process, we’re not there yet we need to make sure that they’re safe, but we’ve got to the stage where we’ve secured over 350 million doses.
“We think by the Spring, we don’t know but we think by the Spring that we will be in a position to move to a whole different world because the vaccine will have been distributed to key workers and the most vulnerable, particularly by age.
“The question is how we avoid the virus getting out of control and damaging lives and livelihoods and putting undue pressure on the NHS. So I do think this feels like an exit strategy. And I do think with that comes some cautious grounds for hope.”
In a separate exchange, Mr Raab also defended the broad geographical restrictions as a necessity to prevent the virus from “shooting up”. Watch that clip below: