The campaign urges people not to become complacent following Boris Johnson announcing his roadmap out of lockdown and the ongoing success of the vaccination rollout.
The roadmap came as data showed the Covid-19 vaccines being deployed in the UK substantially reduced the risk of hospital admission, cutting hospitalisations by up to 85 per cent with the Pfizer/BioNTech jab and up to 94 per cent with the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
After Mr Johnson announced the four stages of how lockdown could be eased on Monday, holiday firms and airlines reported a massive surge in bookings and enquiries, with many hoping to travel abroad from mid-May.
The date ’23 June’ also began trending on Twitter shortly after the briefing as people flocked to social media to make plans to celebrate after 21 June, which is the date the government hopes to see the lockdown come to an end.
But the new campaign urges Britons to be cautious and to keep working from home, washing their hands, wearing a mask, and maintaining social distancing to help curb the spread of Covid-19 and new variants.
It acknowledges how difficult lockdown has been for many, but encourages people to stick with it in light of falling infection rates and the vaccine rollout.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement: “The British resolve during this pandemic has been astounding. We’ve all pulled together to help each other out.
“I know it’s been a long year but we can’t let up now. Everything we’re doing is bringing us one step closer to beating this virus.
“The vaccine rollout is going extremely well and is saving lives - but it is not the only way we will reduce infection rates and be able to get back to normality.
“So let’s keep going. I encourage everyone to keep playing their part and stay at home - keep washing your hands, wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance which will ensure that, together, we beat this.”
Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty adds that although infections rates are falling, they still “remain very high” and the virus is still putting huge amounts of pressure on the NHS.
According to the latest figures, 9,938 more people tested positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, with 442 further deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus tests. Over 1,000 people are still being admitted to hospital with the virus everyday, said the Department of Health and Social Care.
“Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but for now we must all continue to play our part in protecting the NHS and saving lives,” Prof Whitty said.