The government is said to be eyeing Easter as the moment to start easing tough restrictions for the third national lockdown.
According to The Sun, Boris Johnson has started mapping out a route for the lockdown to end in April, allowing millions of people to meet up with friends and family for the first time this year.
With COVID cases and deaths still high, one senior government source told the paper that while it was “too soon” to officially announce an end date, “work is being done quietly” on how restrictions would ease.
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy also told Talk Radio on Wednesday morning that Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) scientists have told the Labour Party lockdown restrictions could be eased "sometime around April”.
However, home secretary Priti Patel has also said it is too early to discuss easing the coronavirus restrictions.
She told Sky News: “We are at a pivotal stage. Our vaccine rollout is under way but we have a long way to go with vaccination.
“We cannot talk about easing restrictions and measures until we are absolutely clear we have vaccinated priority groups.”
Asked whether mid-February remained the target for lifting some measures, she said that remained the aim for targeting those in the top four priority groups but that it was “no time to speak about” relaxations when the NHS was under such current strain.
The reports comes as the vaccine rollout continues apace, with over four million people in the UK given the jab,
However, the number of daily vaccines being carried out dropped by nearly half in the past four days, with 170,900 carried out – significantly less than the 324,711 given out last Friday.
The government aims to vaccinate 13.5 million of the most vulnerable people by the middle of February.
Tuesday saw the UK recording a further 1,610 coronavirus deaths – the highest number reported on a single day since the outbreak began, bringing the UK total to 91,470.
Watch: What you can and can't do during England's third national lockdown