The spread of an infectious COVID-19 variant in Britain has cast doubt on whether the country will go through with its plan to fully repeal its pandemic restrictions on June 21.
"This week we will be opening up vaccines to the under-30s and so we are getting a step closer to the point when we have been able to offer the vaccine to all adults in this country".
Britain's health secretary on Sunday said a coronavirus variant first detected in India was roughly 40 percent more transmissible than the so-called United Kingdom strain blamed for a severe COVID-19 outbreak over the winter.
"It's too early to make a final decision on that", Hancock told Sky News.
Reports have suggested the final step planned for 21 June could be delayed by two weeks, with The Times saying ministers were given a "downbeat" briefing on the latest data on Monday by England's chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
"We have one of the highest uptake rates in the world with over half of the United Kingdom population having the fullest possible protection from two doses, and over three quarters receiving at least one dose". Since then 76% of the population has had one dose, and just over half are fully vaccinated with two.
The NHS has confirmed that adults aged 25-29 will begin to be offered their Covid-19 jabs from tomorrow (Tuesday), exactly six months after Coventry grandmother Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be vaccinated against the virus.
It comes as a surge in Covid-19 cases including the Indian variant continues to spread across the UK.
Over 1.14L Covid cases in India, lowest spike in 59 days
With 22,645 tests processed over the past 24 hours, the province is reporting a positivity rate of 2.8 per cent. During the same time span, 3,380 more people succumbed to the pandemic, the health ministry in India said.
Britain's swift vaccine rollout had weakened, but not broken, the link between the virus, hospitalisation and death, Hancock said.
The rise in rates has yet to be mirrored by a steady increase in hospital cases.
Last week, Public Health England, the UK's government health agency, said early evidence suggested there may be an increased risk of hospital admission from the Delta variant.
A further four deaths have also been recorded within 28 days of a positive COVID test - that's down from 13 on Saturday and six last Sunday.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released on Tuesday showed there were 95 COVID-19 deaths in England and Wales in the week up to 28 May: the lowest number since the start of September a year ago.
Mr Hancock told MPs: "No one wants our freedoms to be restricted a single day longer than is necessary".
Downing Street said data emerging over the coming week will be "crucial" in deciding whether England's legal coronavirus restrictions can end as hoped on June 21.