BORIS Johnson has warned Covid is a "continuing menace" and there'll be more deaths to come – days before the UK's 'freedom day'.
The PM said today he believes the worst of the crisis has now passed for Brits.
But in a note of caution ahead of restrictions easing on Monday, he said the country must be careful – as coronavirus will remain dangerous.
In a speech in Coventry, Mr Johnson said: "I wish I could say that this pandemic that we have been going through is over.
"I wish I could say that from Monday we could simply throw caution to the winds and behave exactly as we did before we'd ever heard of Covid.
"But what I can say is that if we are careful and if we continue to respect this disease and its continuing menace then it is highly probable – almost all the scientists are agreed on this – the worst of the pandemic is behind us.
"There are difficult days and weeks ahead as we deal with the current wave of the Delta variant, and there will be sadly more hospitalisation and more deaths, but with every day that goes by we build higher the wall of vaccine acquired immunity."
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July 19 will mark a huge day in Britain's march out of Covid restrictions.
Social distancing and mask wearing will be scrapped – although officials have urged the public to keep their faces covered in busy, indoor spaces.
Nights out will come roaring back as clubs open, while millions of workers will be invited to return to the office.
Festivals are back on, while double-jabbed Brits returning from amber list countries will be able to forego quarantine, meaning holidays are back for some.
However, the UK's new Health Secretary Sajid Javid says there'll be a review within weeks – sparking fears strict rules could return.
Earlier this week, he warned the number of people testing positive every day in the UK will be 100,000 within just weeks.
But he said now is the time to take a step forward – or risk never returning to normality.
"To those who say, 'Why take this step now?', I say, 'If not now, when?'" he said.
"There will never be a perfect time to take this step because we simply cannot eradicate this virus.
"Whether we like it or not, coronavirus is never going away."
Officials say vaccinations have already prevented up to 8.9million infections, 46,000 hospitalisations and 30,000 deaths, despite the super-infectious Delta mutation being responsible for 99 per cent of new cases.
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