Another COVID lockdown would be entirely inappropriate at this time, when the UK is still learning to live with the novel coronavirus, according to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. "I firmly believe that going back into a lockdown would be entirely wrong," he said.

He also stated that the most important indicators were hospitalisations and death rates, both of which were significantly lower. "I think we're learning to live with the virus," Kwarteng added.

"On an hourly basis, ministers, scientists, and experts are looking at data," he said, "and we don't believe that now is the time for Plan B. What we're attempting to do is get those who haven't been vaccinated to receive those vaccinations, as well as promote booster jab uptake."

Kwasi Kwarteng appointed UK Business Minister - Business World Ghana

These comments come after the UK reported 223 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest daily number since March. 

In England, PM Johnson has lifted practically all COVID-19 restrictions, and measures like mandatory mask-wearing, which is standard in much of Europe, are being held back solely as a "Plan B."

However, doctors are concerned that an increase in the number of people going to the hospital, along with strains on the NHS from seasonal viruses, might leave hospitals unable to deal with long wait lists and function normally.

The NHS Confederation's Chief Executive, Matthew Taylor, has urged for Plan B measures such as mask-wearing and working from home, which would be small inconveniences but may prevent a crisis, to be implemented.

"Every day, I speak with health-care leaders, and I have yet to meet one who does not say that their institution is currently under severe strain," he stated. "Health care is at the edge, if you push too hard, we won't be able to provide the level of service that people require."