ENGLAND could be under lockdown restrictions for as "long as they are necessary" Matt Hancock has said as the vaccincation programme gets underway. 

Current restrictions are set to be reviewed in the mid-February as the Goverment hopes 14million vulnerable people will be vaccinated by then. 

Speaking on Sky News this morning, the Health Secretary said: “We will keep the restrictions in place not a moment longer than they are necessary, but we will keep them in place as long as they are necessary.

“These measures that we have got in place that we hope to be able to lift, and we should be able to lift when we have been able to protect through vaccination those who are vulnerable – right now the vaccination is not in a position to do that.”

Matt Hanock revealed that the NHS is considering plans to move some patients into hotels to ease pressure on hospitals.

Mr Hancock told Sky News: “There are huge pressures on the NHS and we are looking to all different ways that we can relieve those pressures.

“We would only ever do that if it was clinically the right thing for somebody. In some cases, people need sit-down care, they don’t actually need to be in hospital bed.

“It isn’t a concrete proposal by any means but it is something that we look at as we look at all contingencies.”