BORIS Johnson has insisted a Covid-19 vaccine “cannot be taken for granted”, as he announced new coronavirus restrictions for some areas of the country.

The Prime Minister told MPs there is a “good chance” of developing a vaccine before sounding a note of caution.

He also faced demands from Tory backbenchers to trust Britons to act responsibly and not leave areas in a “permanent state” with restrictions in place.

Southampton and Hampshire are currently in the “medium” tier, which means no further restrictions are yet in place.

Mr Johnson’s remarks came during a lengthy Commons grilling after he announced the new three-tier approach to deal with the spread of coronavirus.

Tory former minister Steve Baker asked: “By when does (Mr Johnson) expect to have vaccinated the vulnerable population, what is his confidence in that date and why does he have that confidence?”

Mr Johnson replied: “Alas, I can’t give him a date by which I can promise confidently that we will have a vaccine.

“There are some very hopeful signs not least from the Oxford AstraZeneca trials that are being conducted.

“But, as he knows, Sars took place 18 years ago, we still don’t have a vaccine for Sars.”

Conservative Caroline Ansell (Eastbourne) welcomed the measures but raised concerns about the “hard hit” hospitality sector, adding: “So can I ask (Mr Johnson) what moves there might be to going forward to hyper-localised actions and what support there will be for my constituents’ jobs and businesses?”

The Prime Minister said: “It would be a wonderful thing if we could hyper localise actions in the way she suggests, alas the disease being what it is, you cannot reduce the areas in which we place restrictions too small.

“The best thing her constituents can do and the best thing the whole country can do to get through this as fast as possible is to follow the package of measures that we’ve set out.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was “sceptical” whether the Government has a plan to get control of the virus.

The Labour leader said: “The question today is whether the restrictions announced by the Prime Minister can bring the country back from the brink, whether they can regain control of the virus and provide the support and confidence that local businesses and communities need. That is how high the stakes now are.”

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, called on Mr Johnson to “once again put his trust” in Britons.