New lockdown restrictions imposed on Saturday on millions of people may have to remain in place for several months until vaccines have been rolled out across the UK, the health secretary has said.

It follows Boris Johnson’s decision to abandon attempts to avoid tighter Covid restrictions, and instead placing millions of people in London and the south-east under the new tier 4 measures.

On Sunday, Matt Hancock said additional restrictions for England announced by the prime minister on Saturday may have to remain for “the next couple of months” while a vaccine is rolled out.