Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said this morning that Monday’s easing of restrictions in England will still go ahead despite concerns around the B1617.2 variant, which was first found in India.

“We think that the road map for Monday remains in place, because the vaccines are delivering, and vaccines are keeping people out of hospital and, of course, away from severe infection,” he told Sky News.

He added that the Government was “confident” this could continue but said officials would “continue to monitor” the situation.

He also said trials of vaccinating all adults in multi-generational households have been “successful” and could be a “tool” for use in areas where there is a surge of the Covid-19 variant first identified in India.

“The multigenerational household trials, in Luton and in Slough and elsewhere, have been good, they have been successful, which is why I think it’s a tool in our armoury,” he told BBC Breakfast.

Asked why this was not being implemented now, he said: “The clinicians will make those sorts of recommendations, the decisions, and we will flex the vaccination programme accordingly.”