Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show at the BBC, Johnson said he had thought things would be better by the spring.
“I stick to that, I think that’s roughly how it’s going to be,” he told Marr. “It may be that we need to do things in the next few weeks that will be tougher in many parts of the country. He added.
“I’m fully reconciled to that,” Johnson said, adding that he bet the people of the country are also reconciled to that.
There had been reports that the government may introduce a tier five on top of the current system.
When questioned what the new tier would look like, Johnson said “you’ve spoken about tier five, I haven’t said that. But there are obviously a range of of tougher measures that we will have to consider.”
Johnson declined to “speculate now about what they would be,” but he alluded to school closures as being a part of it.
He added that schools are safe, and that he wanted to keep children in school.
“[It is] very, very important to stress that … the risk to kids, to young people, is really very, very, very small indeed, as scientists continually attest. Risk to staff is very little. And of course, the benefits of education are so huge,” he said. “Overwhelmingly, we want to keep our young people … in education because that’s the best thing for them.”
He told Marr that tougher restrictions is not “something we necessarily want to do … not something we relish doing at all,” but “this is the crucial point, we’re entirely reconciled to doing what it takes to get the virus down. And … that may involve tougher measures in the weeks ahead.”
Johnson said the government will keep things under control and under review.
Keir Starmer, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, called for an immediate lockdown.
“The virus is clearly out of control,” Starmer wrote in a tweet, commenting on the prime minister’s interview.
“It’s not good enough for the Prime Minister to hint at further restrictions at unspecified times and then do nothing. He must put national restrictions in place within the next 24 hours. No more dither, no more delay,” Starmer added.