There is a new variant of COVID-19 in the UK that is estimated to be around 50-70% more contagious than the virus that affected people last March. Therefore, the same measures used in spring will not be sufficient to reduce the infection rate this time.
Schools continue to be a vector for community infection as the Department of Education widened the categories of vulnerable and key worker pupils. Therefore, compared to the previous lockdown, attendance rates are surging to 50% in some places.
The NHS is under extreme pressure, and there is an unprecedented number of patients requiring intensive care treatment, with many hospitals stating they do not have enough staff to manage it. This will only get worse as cases rise following the relaxation of restrictions over Christmas.