Local lockdowns could be reintroduced when national lockdown restrictions are lifted in England, a government minister has warned.

On Monday, Boris Johnson announced stage three of his roadmap out of lockdown will go ahead on May 17.

Mr Johnson also confirmed that England remains “on track” to see an end to lockdown restrictions completely by June 21.

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He said: He told the Downing Street press conference: “This unlocking amounts to a very considerable step on the road map back to normality and I am confident we will be able to go further.

“Subject to the impact of step three on the data, we remain on track to move to step four on June 21.

“And to give business more time to prepare we will be saying more later this month about exactly what the world will look like and what role there could be – if any – for certification and social distancing.”

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But environment secretary George Eustice said the government will not “rule out” local restrictions in the future to keep on top of regional outbreaks of Covid-19.

He said: "We can't rule anything out.

"But our plan that's been set out by the PM, the reason we're being incredibly cautious about exiting lockdown, is we want this to be the last.

"We want to try and avoid having to get into a tiered system and regionalisation.

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“We tried that last Autumn, we know in the end we had to go for a full lockdown."

He added: "We've got our confidence now in the vaccination programme - it's reducing transmission rates as well as hospitalisations and mortality, so that's got to be our focus.

"But there's always a risk and the greatest risk we have is a new variant will come in that the vaccine is less effective against."

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