Lifting coronavirus lockdown measures would have to be done "very slowly, very cautiously" to avoid a resurge in infections, a British medical expert warned on Sunday.
Susan Hopkins, chief of COVID-19 strategy at Public Health England, said lessons have to be learned from the past.
"We have learned, as we did on the first occasion, we have to relax things really quite slowly, so that if cases start to increase we can clamp down quite fast," she told the BBC.
Hopkins noted that the British National Health Service (NHS) would remain under huge pressure at least until the end of March, as normal during winter, but even more so with the amount of inpatients they still have with COVID-19.
"Any releases that we have will have to happen very slowly, very cautiously, watching and waiting as we go, with a two-week period to watch and see the impact of that relaxation because it takes that to see what's happening in the population," she said.
Another 23,275 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 3,796,088, according to official figures released Saturday.
The country also reported another 1,200 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 105,571, the data showed. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
Meanwhile, Britain is stepping up its efforts to speed up the vaccine rollout to bring the pandemic under control. The country aims to deliver a first dose to 15 million of the most vulnerable by mid-February and to offer all adults their first dose by autumn.
England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.