England's coronavirus tier system won't be lifted until Easter Monday, according to reports.
The three-tier system will place millions under strict measures to replace the national lockdown from December 2.
Boris Johnson's 'winter plan' was expected to be in place into early Spring.
But a government source is quoted in The Sun as saying the measures could run longer.
They said: "Boris will not countenance hospitals overflowing like they did in Italy.
"Nor can we get to the stage where we have to cancel operations and treatments. In all likelihood, the tiers have to stay.”
The PM is said to be hopeful that waiting until the Covid-10 'winter peak' has subsided will give his Government time to curb bases over coming months.
Speculation tonight of an April 5 end date comes despite hopes a vaccine roll-out is imminent.
Vaccinators have reportedly been put on standby to begin delivering the jab to priority recipients within days.
But the Prime Minister is facing Tory mutiny over the restrictions as millions up and down the country are placed in even higher tiers than before lockdown.
Anger has grown this week as it was revealed more areas are in the new revised Tier 2 and 3 than before the second national shutdown.
Vast swathes of England's north are enveloped in the lockdown once again.
Liverpool was one of few regions previously under stricter measures to be downgraded from Tier 3 to 2.
Testing is due to be ramped up in more areas over the winter months after trials in the city were shown to drive down the rates of spread.
The UK's “R” transmission rate has dropped below 1 for the first time since August, igniting hopes it will buy the pressured health service more time as the virus ramps up.
However there are fears mixing during Christmas will drive up spread again.
The Government is relaxing rules to allow for exclusive 'bubbles' over Christmas for five days.
But officials have warned people to carefully consider whether it is worth putting vulnerable relatives at risk.