Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Belief, warned that limits might have to be reversed if the new variant “escapes” safety afforded to people by the Covid-19 vaccines.

“The new variant that has occur, the B.167, is becoming dominant in sections of the United kingdom,” he instructed BBC Radio 4’s Now programme.

“Still vaccination across the nation has been extraordinarily successful.

“I feel we will see an improve of circumstances and infections above the coming weeks as some of the restrictions are lifted, but I consider the essential issue is whether or not we have decoupled elevated transmission and number of folks who do get infected from the selection of persons that get unwell and will need to go into healthcare facility or with long Covid.

“If we’ve decoupled them, then I assume the state can cope with a marginal diploma of an maximize in transmission.

“So that is the key query and to be trustworthy, we will not know that right now and that is why I consider a pretty mindful lifting is affordable, but we may have to reverse that if there is escape from the vaccine.”

He included: “I just feel we’re at this stage where by we have lifted constraints, and still we do not have that whole amount of facts – I assume it is realistic to elevate them nowadays, but I do think all of us require to be definitely, seriously mindful.”