There have been several developments over the weekend as to what Boris Johnson's "roadmap" to lifting lockdown restrictions will look like.

Timescales for the reopening of pub gardens, hospitality sites and more have been reported as the Prime Minister said he is "optimistic" about the falling number of coronavirus cases across the UK.

The roadmap is set to be announced in full on February 22.

Asked about the plans over the weekend, Mr Johnson said: "I'm going to ask you to wait a little longer, give us more time to look at the data about what's happening, look at the way the numbers are coming down and also study, I think very importantly, the efficacy of the vaccines.

"Are they working in the way that we hope they are? Making sure that they're really helping, along with the lockdown, to drive down the incidents. That's the key thing.

"I'm optimistic. I won't hide it from you, I'm optimistic. But we have to be cautious."

The first move to ease existing lockdown restrictions is the return of primary and secondary school pupils to school on March 8.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured at the Covid vaccination centre at Edgware, north London. Credit: PA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured at the Covid vaccination centre at Edgware, north London. Credit: PA

Ministers have said the re-opening of schools in England on this date remains their first priority, although reports have suggested the return may be staggered, with secondary schools going back a week later.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday that they were confident they could "start the process" of schools re-opening on March 8.

After schools, it is expected the next areas of easing will be non-essential shops and the rules on outdoor recreation and socialising.

Sports such as tennis and golf, where social distancing is easier, are also set to be allowed in April, national newspapers have reported.

The hospitality sector and the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group (CRG) meanwhile are pressing for pubs and restaurants to re-open in time for the Easter weekend at the beginning of April.

The MailOnline has reported that "Number 10 plans to allow the beleaguered hospitality industry to lift its shutters, most likely on Tuesday March 30 or the following day".

This move would likely see people allowed to eat and drink within the outdoor seating areas of pubs and restaurants.

The 10pm curfew and "substantial meal" alcohol rules enforced during the localised tiered restriction system would be abandoned, according to the MailOnline.

However, this morning, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there is "some way to go" before lockdown is eased, with ministers set to review coronavirus restrictions in England.

He stressed that the government is awaiting key data on how successfully vaccines reduce transmission after more than 15 million people across the UK received their first dose of a vaccine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the achievement - just over two months after the vaccination programme delivered its first jab - as a "significant milestone" in the fight against the disease.

PRESSURE: Health Secretary Matt Hancock has omitted nursery staff from vaccination priority list

Health Secretary Matt Hancock 

Ministers have said they are "on track" to meet the target of getting an offer of a first dose to everyone in the UK in the top four priority groups - including all over-70s - by today's deadline.

The successful rollout of the vaccines will increase pressure from the Conservative backbenches for the Prime Minister to set out a swift easing of the lockdown when he sets out his "road map" on February 22.

Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast: "We are taking those decisions this week, so we will be looking at the data, looking at the success of the vaccine rollout and how far that has reached and its impact in terms of protecting people, looking at the number of cases and critically, looking at the number of people who are in hospital and the number of deaths - those two factors are vital.

"Right now, as of today, at the latest count there are still over 23,000 people in hospital with Covid - that's more than in the April peak - so we've still got some way to go, but we are looking to set out that road map on Monday."