Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has rejected calls from Conservative MPs to put a date on when England's lockdown measures will be eased, saying the government will be "cautious".The lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group (CRG) said all restrictions must be lifted by the end of April.Mr Raab told the BBC he was "confident" in the vaccine rollout, but added: "You can't get ahead of the evidence."So far 14.5 million people have had at least one dose of the vaccine.
Mr Raab said that the government was "on track" to hit its target of offering the vaccine to 15 million people from the top four priority groups by Monday.
'Optimistic' PM plots 'cautious' lockdown easing
The CRG has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to say there will be no justification for Covid laws once the top nine priority groups have been vaccinated - which the government is planning to have done by May.Mr Raab told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "We share all of the ambition and the desire to get out of this lockdown. We want to do it responsibly and safely and therefore it's got to be based on the evidence," adding, "You can't get ahead of the evidence of the impact of the vaccine on the transmission." He said the R-rate was between 0.7 and 1 and, as of Friday, the seven-day totals for admissions, cases and fatalities were down by between a fifth and a quarter respectively.But developments needed to be monitored "in real time", making it difficult to give guarantees or be precise about an end of April or beginning of May date for easing, he said.