Life will return to normal once coronavirus vaccines protect enough populations, Professor Chris Whitty said.
The chief medical officer for England said he was “confident” that normalcy would return, but society was “pretty far” from it.
However, he stressed that the introduction of the vaccine would take months, not years, and called on all those offered the sting to receive them.
“I am convinced that at some point we will return to life as it was before, there is no doubt about that,” he told the BBC Breakfast.
“It’s a life we all want to lead.
“And what will happen, after vaccination is targeted at a wide enough part of the population, to protect the most vulnerable, but also to protect enough people, to actually reduce the risk to society as a whole – it will take quite a long time, but months, not years. “
Whitty added that the restrictions would be lifted “phase by phase” rather than in a single move, allowing life to “basically” get to the state it was before the pandemic.
He had previously warned that restrictions could be reintroduced next winter.
When reports surfaced that the government was trying to tighten the current blockade, he stressed: “We would really like people to concentrate on that period, fully accepting that we all want life to return to normal and life to return to normal, but in fact it will get back to normal faster if we can achieve it early now.
“If you are invited to be vaccinated, accept that offer.”
Approximately two million people received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and the government intended to treat 14 million vulnerable people by mid-February.
Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccine minister, said authorities are learning from Israel’s experience in faster vaccination.
Reuters reports that the state health ministry said 20% of the population had a sting.
Zahawi told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “One of the things we’ve learned is the speed with which they can actually vaccinate people through mass vaccination centers.
“We want to make sure we achieve a similar speed of mass vaccination opportunities.”
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