The health secretary has said he hopes there will be a “happy and free Great British summer” if the coronavirus vaccine rollout is successful.
Matt Hancock told BBC Politics East on Sunday: “In six months we’ll be in the middle, I hope, of a happy and free great British summer.
“I have a high degree of confidence that by then the vast majority of adults will have been vaccinated – and that’s not just the clinically vulnerable groups, but all groups.”
According to the government’s latest data, almost 9 million people have been given a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and more than 491,000 have had a second jab.
The NHS has said a coronavirus vaccine has been offered to residents at every eligible care home in England.
Hancock said: “We have to follow the data, you have to see the impact of the vaccines on the ground.
“It’s that difficult balance – we’ve got to move as fast as we can but in a way that keeps people safe.”
However, international development secretary Liz Truss suggested social distancing measures may be required for the rest of the year.
She told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I don’t want to make predictions about the situation in the autumn, I think it’s far too far away.
“Long-term predictions in what is a very, very unpredictable situation are not wise.”
Watch: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?