No 10 stressed the importance of the “very extensive” vaccination programme on Tuesday, as the row continued with the EU over its threat to impose an export block on jabs.
A year after the first national lockdown was imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19, there were concerns of rising infections in France and Italy.
The Prime Minister highlighted the precariousness of the situation, saying that “experience has taught us that when a wave hits our friends, it washes up on our shores as well”.
Despite Mr Johnson warning that “I expect that we will feel those effects in due course”, his official spokesman said cases were already expected to rise as England’s third national lockdown is eased and said the plan to ease restrictions was on track.
“Obviously this time we have as a defence our very extensive vaccination programme,” the spokesman told a Westminster briefing.
“We remain on course for the individual steps in the road map. That hasn’t changed.”