Matt Hancock said the government is not ruling out tougher lockdown measures as he gave an update on the vaccine and revealed when everyone should receive it.

In a press conference this evening the Health Secretary said the new variant of Covid-19 was highly contagious and was putting the NHS under "very significant pressure", with 32,294 people currently in hospital with coronavirus.

He said the country was "at the worst point in this pandemic" and said he was aware some people believed even tougher restrictions should be in place, adding: "We don't rule out further action."

But he said for it was "your actions now that make the difference."

"Act like you have the virus," he said. "It's all the more important to do all of this because the vaccine rollout is now proceeding at pace."

Mr Hancock said so far more than 2.6 million doses had been given to 2.3 million people.

He said the top four priority groups accounted for 88 per cent of the deaths and this was why the vaccine was so important.

The top four is made up of: Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers; 80-year-olds and over and frontline health and social care workers; 75-year-olds and over; 70-year-olds and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.

Mr Hancock said the rollout was "incredibly important" to save lived, adding that the vaccine is also the fastest route for lifting restrictions.

He said the programme was "on track" to have everyone in these groups given their first vaccine by February 15.

Two fifths of over 80s have already received first vaccine and since the Oxford vaccine was approved last week the Government had "significantly" increased the rollout.

Almost a quarter of older care home residents have now received their first dose of vaccines, said Mr Hancock, who added: "We're committed to reach every care home resident this month."

He hoped that all adults would be offered a vaccine by the autumn.

Mr Hancock said currently 96 per cent of people in England currently live within ten miles of a vaccination site and the intention was to increase this to 100 per cent by expanding the sites to community pharmacies as well as the seven mass vaccination sites.

Professor Stephen Powis went on to stress that even when you receive the vaccine "it shouldn't considered a free pass by any of us to ignore the national guidelines."