The Prime Minister said he expected the wave seen across Europe “to wash up on our shores as well.”
Speaking to broadcasters in Preston, Mr Johnson said: ‘I have spoken to our (European) friends several times during this time – we are all facing the same pandemic, we all have the same issues.
“If there is one thing that deserves to be highlighted, it is that on the continent right now, you can unfortunately see that a third wave is underway.
“The people of this country should not be deluded that previous experience has taught us that when a wave hits our friends, it also hits our shores.
“I hope we will feel these effects in due course.
“This is why we are continuing our vaccination program as quickly as possible, but a vaccination campaign and the development of vaccines, their deployment – these are international projects and they require international cooperation. ”
The Prime Minister will address this week to the powerful 1922 backbench committee of Tory MPs this week to defend his roadmap outside of lockdown.
The Prime Minister’s press secretary, Allegra Stratton, said: “As you can imagine, the Prime Minister uses every opportunity when he meets his Conservative MPs to make his case.”
Critics, including former chief whip Mark Harper, have warned that continuing the restrictions until June 21 at the earliest under the roadmap is draconian because the success of the vaccination program means they are not required.
Ms Stratton said: “It is fundamentally true that he thinks this is a prudent roadmap but – if we do it right – irreversible.
“So taking the time to do it the way we do, with the five-week review points (between stages), means we’re sure every moment that loosening is the right thing to do.
“That’s why he’s taking his time, because we want to make sure we’re doing the right thing.”