Lifting lockdown restrictions has not led to a spike in coronavirus cases, the UK's national statistician has said, but he issued a warning for autumn as the PM insisted he does not want a second national shutdown.
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, head of the Office for National Statistics, told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday an increase in infections depended on "how the population works".
He said he had not noticed any uptick in coronavirus since measures were eased, adding: "The message has been quite consistent in that we must be alert and we must be socially distanced and if we are really super careful and if we are able to follow all the rules it does seem to me that we should expect there to be a relative flatline at the moment.
"Clearly over the autumn we will need to be ever vigilant."
He said sample households have been tested across England, adding:
Sir Ian's autumn warning comes after Boris Johnson played down the prospect of another nationwide lockdown as he compared enforcing the measures to using Britain's nuclear deterrent.
The prime minister added that authorities are getting better at identifying and isolating local outbreaks, but said it was important that the power to order national action was held in reserve.
He told The Sunday Telegraph: "I can't abandon that tool any more than I would abandon a nuclear deterrent.
"But it is like a nuclear deterrent, I certainly don't want to use it, and nor do I think we will be in that position again."
Mr Johnson's comments could lead to further tensions between ministers and their scientific experts after Sir Patrick Vallance, the government's chief scientific adviser, warned there was "a risk" that national measures could be needed as winter approaches.
Announcing a further easing of England's lockdown restrictions on Friday, Mr Johnson said he hoped there could be a "significant return to normality" in time for Christmas.
He also said the government had given local authorities new powers to close specific premises, shut outdoor spaces and cancel events to control outbreaks.
Mr Johnson, who was pictured with his baby son Wilfred for the first time on Saturday, insisted his agenda for domestic reform and "levelling up" the economy would not be blown off course by the pandemic as he approaches his first anniversary of being in office.
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said the PM was "right to aspire to open up the economy again and get things moving", but added: "The trouble is just saying it doesn't make it so."
The Labour MP told Ridge there are "great big gaping holes" in the plan Mr Johnson announced, including the omission of "a mass winter flu vaccination programme".
She said while shops, pubs and restaurants were reopening, "many people are still not coming out of their houses and spending again" because they are "nervous" about a second wave of coronavirus and overwhelming the NHS.
Ms Nandy said the government needed to "get to grips" with contact-tracing. The PM promised a "world-beating" test and trace system by 1 June, which saw the app trialled on the Isle of Wight but it is not set for UK-wide release until the winter.
"Unless people feel confident that there are plans for a second wave, that it is going to be avoided, that the NHS isn't going to be overwhelmed, I just don't think the economy will get back up and running as quickly as the prime minister hopes," she added.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government listens to Sir Patrick's advice "very carefully", and said local shutdowns would "enable us to take targeted action to avoid a national lockdown".
Asked if social distancing could be scrapped by November, he told Ridge: "It's all conditional on us continuing to make progress. I think it is right, though, to give... a sense of... hope."
A further eight people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in hospitals to 29,181, NHS England said on Sunday.
The patients were aged between 61 and 91 years old and all had known underlying health conditions.
The Department for Health and Social Care said on Friday it was "pausing" publication of Public Health England (PHE) daily death data for the whole of the UK.
It followed Health Secretary Matt Hancock ordering an urgent review into claims by researchers that the current method of calculation does not take into account the fact that some people may have recovered from COVID-19 and died of a different cause.
On Saturday, Scotland recorded its highest daily positive COVID-19 tests for almost a month, with Scottish government figures showing 21 confirmed results over a 24-hour period. On 21 June there were 26 positive test results.
Deputy first minister John Sweeney warned the public of the ongoing threat of coronavirus, with the surge in positive cases coming after lockdown measures were eased on Wednesday, tweeting: "Thankfully another day of no deaths recorded due to #COVID. 21 positive cases however remind us of the danger still out there."
People in Wales will be able to use playgrounds, community centres and outdoor gyms from tomorrow, after hairdressers and pubs reopened at the start of the week.
Asked why Wales was taking a slower approach to easing lockdown measures than that advocated by Mr Johnson, Vaughan Gething, Welsh minister for health and social services, told Sky News: "We have taken seriously the advice from SAGE and our own Welsh Scientific Advisory Committee... and we are supported by three quarters of the public in the approach we are taking.
"If we move too fast we could see a further, earlier peak than we would otherwise see, and that would have consequences as we have seen in some towns and counties in England. The local outbreaks we have seen in the UK, including here in Wales, are a real reminder that coronavirus has not gone away."