The Prime Minister has revealed his long-awaited four-phase exit strategy, with the caveat that decisions will be led by data “not dates”.
The roadmap gives an outline of when the Government hopes to give the green light to normal life with indoor dining, fans at football matches, weddings and nightclubs reopening.
The Prime Minister struck a cautious tone throughout his big speech to the Commons but said he hoped they were on a “one way road to freedom” thanks to the vaccines.
However, Mr Johnson said he would not chance having to reimpose restrictions as a result of lifting lockdown at a quicker pace, telling the Commons: “I won’t take that risk.”
He told MPs he could not rule out re-imposing restrictions at local or regional level if evidence suggests they are necessary to contain or suppress a new variant.
He said: "I know there will be many who will be worried that we are being too ambitious and that it is arrogant to impose any kind of plan upon a virus and I agree that we must always be humble in the face of nature and that we must be cautious.
"But I really also believe that the vaccination programme has dramatically changed the odds in our favour, and it is on that basis that we can now proceed.”
He said he sympathised with the “exhaustion and stress” of people and businesses, adding: “Today the end really is in sight.
“A wretched year will give way to a spring and a summer that will be very different and incomparably better.”