There have been 16 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and more than 155,000 people have died, government figures show. Over 52 million people have now received a first dose of the vaccine, 91% of people in the UK aged 12 and over. 84% have had their second and 64% have had a booster.
Total UK Cases: 16,245,474 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 96,871 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 16,510 (94 less than on previous day)
New deaths across UK: 338
Total UK deaths: 155,040
England Cases per 100,000: 1,002
R number in UK: 0.8-1.1
Total 1st doses given: 52,281,873 – 91% of UK aged 12+
Total 2nd doses: 84%
Daily 1st doses: 15,358
Daily 2nd doses: 30,319
Daily Booster doses: 54,464
The R value and growth rate
The latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The R range for England is 0.8 to 1.1 the growth rate range for England is -6% to +1% per day as of 28 January 2022.
COVID-19: estimated administrative vaccine uptake for people aged 18 and over
Daily percentage of the UK population aged 18 and over who have received a first dose, second dose, or third or booster dose to date.
Coronavirus cases in the UK: daily updated statistics
The latest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, cases and deaths in the UK. The way deaths are reported is based on a 28-day limit between the date of a positive lab-confirmed test and date of death.
Latest Cheshire East data:
Total Cheshire East cases: 94,105
New cases in past 7 days: 3,952 to 22 Jan
Total deaths: 976
Cases per 100,000: 1,022
UK NEWS UPDATES:
Plan B restrictions removed from Thursday 27 January:
- Venues and events will no longer be required by law to use the NHS Covid Pass. The NHS Covid Pass can still be used on a voluntary basis as was previously the case in Plan A.
- Face coverings are no longer required by law in any setting. Public health guidance will remain in place, suggesting individuals should continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- The Department for Education will remove national guidance on the use of face coverings in communal areas, with local Directors of Public Health able to recommend the use of face coverings in education settings across their area only where the department and public health experts judge the measure to be proportionate due to specific health concerns. This is a temporary measure and Directors of Public Health continue to advise individual settings experiencing outbreaks.
- Any local introduction of face coverings must be subject to routine review and removed at the earliest opportunity.
Care home restrictions eased from Monday
Covid restrictions on adult social care will be eased in England from Monday, the government has announced. There will be no limit on the number of visitors allowed at care homes, self-isolation periods will be cut and care homes will only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 days, not 28. The change is the latest rolling back of Plan B curbs in England. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the move meant people could see more of their loved ones: “I know how vital companionship is to those living in care homes and the positive difference visits make,” he said.
Sainsbury’s, John Lewis and Wilko ask customers to continue wearing face masks
Sainsbury’s and Wilko will ask customers and staff to continue to wear face masks in shops when Plan B rules end in England tomorrow. Sainsbury’s said: “Safety remains our highest priority. From Thursday, we’re asking our customers and colleagues in England to continue to wear a face covering in our stores, if they are able to. In Scotland and Wales, face coverings remain mandatory for those who can wear them in our stores, in line with the latest Government restrictions. We continue to have a range of safety measures in all of our stores, including screens and sanitising stations.” Variety store Wilko has taken a similar stance. A spokesperson said: “While masks will no longer be a legal requirement in England, we’re still recommending face coverings for our team members and customers in busy indoor spaces unless they are exempt.” John Lewis told the BBC it would be “suggesting people wear masks” in its department stores and Waitrose supermarkets, but added: “It will be down to individuals to make a personal choice.”
Over 5,000 people enrolled in UK-wide study for antivirals
Over 5,000 people have now enrolled in a world-class study for COVID-19 antivirals, meaning thousands of people have accessed the medicines. The significant milestone means the UK is one step closer to rolling out the innovative medicines – which are being evaluated to see if they help to reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of hospitalisation or death – more widely across the country, eventually helping to ease pressures on the NHS. Anyone over the age of 50 or between 18 to 49 with certain underlying health conditions can sign up to the study as soon as they receive a positive PCR or lateral flow test result. They need to be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that began in the last five days to be eligible to enrol.
Four nations agree one approach to UK travel restrictions
The governments of Wales and Northern Ireland have confirmed both countries will align with the rest of the UK on their travel and testing rules. The move will guarantee a four-nations approach to the new rules, outlined by UK transport secretary Grant Shapps on Monday (24 January). This includes from 11 February scrapping Day 2 testing for fully vaccinated arrivals, and self-isolation for those who are not fully vaccinated. Their quarantine requirement will be replaced with a testing requirement. Welsh ministers have also, for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, stopped advising people not to go on foreign holidays. In a statement, first minister Mark Drakeford said the change was due to the Omicron wave waning and high vaccination rates. “We will no longer advise people to only travel overseas if their journey is essential,” he said.
Rail operators set to lure passengers back
The journey to work is set to be a whole lot more relaxing than before for commuters hopping back on the train. That at least is the plan: the rail industry is offering free hot drinks, access to a mindfulness app and other perks to lure people back on board. It’s part of a new Network Rail rewards scheme, aimed at reviving passenger numbers which slumped in the pandemic. Many train operators are also still running reduced timetables due to high levels of staff absence. They say services will increase in the coming weeks in line with demand. Independent watchdog Transport Focus said the rewards scheme – which also offers passengers free bacon rolls, audiobooks and music streaming services – was a good idea.
But it added that enticing passengers back meant delivering their priorities, “including punctual and reliable services, enough space on board and improved value for money tickets”.
Positivity rates highest ever recorded in REACT-1 study, but prevalence plateauing
Findings from the latest report of the government-backed REACT-1, one of the largest studies into COVID-19 infections in England, published yesterday, 26th Jan
Boosters provide high level of protection against death with Omicron
The latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows that boosters significantly reduce the risk of death with Omicron. The findings show that around 6 months after a second dose of any of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines, protection against death with Omicron was around 60% in those aged 50 and over. However, this increased to around 95% 2 weeks after receiving a booster vaccine dose. The data continue to show high levels of protection against hospitalisation from the booster. After a Pfizer booster (after either primary vaccination course), vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation started at around 90%, dropping to around 75% after 10 to 14 weeks.
Partner of unvaccinated man who nearly died warns others
The partner of a man placed in an induced coma after catching Covid-19 is warning others not to drop their guard as restrictions are lifted. Olly Toole, from Canterbury in Kent, is 32 and was not vaccinated, but had no underlying health conditions. He is now out of the coma, but his partner said at one point she was told he might not survive. Cheryl Waters, who is seven months pregnant, said: “They told me to come in and say goodbye.”
Met Police seeks limits to Sue Gray No.10 parties report
The Metropolitan Police has asked senior civil servant Sue Gray to make “minimal reference” to events they are investigating in her report. Ms Gray’s inquiry into lockdown parties in Downing Street had been due to be released this week.
But the Met has asked her to leave out details of parties they are investigating for Covid rule-breaking.
In a statement, it said it wanted to “avoid any prejudice to our investigation”.
On Tuesday, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick announced the force had launched its own inquiry after being handed information by Ms Gray. It has since been unclear how much the Gray report would be able to say while a police investigation was under way.
easyJet expects ‚strong‘ summer for beach flights
The Luton-based airline said it was planning for capacity over the key summer months to return to “near 2019” levels as the company revealed financial results for the first quarter of its financial year up to 31 December 2021.
EasyJet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “Booking volumes jumped in the UK following the welcome reduction of travel restrictions announced on 5 January, which have been sustained and then given a further boost from the UK government’s decision earlier this week to remove all testing requirements. We see a strong summer ahead, with pent-up demand that will see easyJet returning to near 2019 levels of capacity, with UK beach and leisure routes performing particularly well.”
Painkillers and fresh fruit in short supply after Omicron surge
Shoppers have been struggling to get hold of paracetamol from many supermarkets while beer shelves are overflowing, as the impact of Omicron continues to be felt in the UK’s economy. New data from the Office for National Statistics also shows that the number of people dining in restaurants is back to pre-pandemic levels. Compared with the same week in 2020, before Covid-19 struck, numbers of seated diners had declined by just 3% in the seven days to January 24. It comes after a 5% point increase the week before.
REGIONAL & LOCAL NEWS:
BT to hire hundreds of apprentices including across the North-West
More than 600 apprentices and graduates are set to be hired by telecoms giant BT later this year, the company has announced. The positions will be in engineering, customer service, applied research and cyber-security and be spread across a number of locations including Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Dundee, Glasgow, Ipswich, London and Manchester. The recruits will also support the company’s plans to build and extend its 5G network around the UK.
North-West projected for growth after strong recovery in 2021
GDP in the North-West of England is expected to grow by 3.3 per cent this year, according to new analysis by KPMG UK. It comes as the UK moves past the peak of Omicron and restrictions ease with it posing a milder setback than earlier strains. KPMG said it expects all regions and nations to reach their pre-Covid levels of output in line with the UK. Growth in the North-West is then expected to moderate and settle at more typical levels of 1.5 per cent in 2023. According to KPMG’s UK Regional Economic Outlook, following a relatively modest contraction in 2020, the North-West economy exceeded its pre-pandemic level in 2021 Q3.
Northern leaders responses to integrated rail plan before national inquiry
Members of Transport for the North’s (TfN) Board agreed their submission to a cross-party inquiry into how the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) will fulfil the promises made by the Department for Transport. They considered their response to the Transport Select Committee inquiry at their meeting earlier today – 25 January – having branded the contents of the IRP “woefully” inadequate last November.
The select committee is seeking evidence on the implications of the IRP for the economy, rail capacity and connectivity.
SECTOR SPECIFIC CORONAVIRUS-RELATED NEWS:
Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in your workplace.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing service for extra care and supported living settings
Guidance on regular testing for extra care and supported living (ECSL) settings that meet the eligibility criteria – updated to reflect the removal of confirmatory PCR after a positive LFT and updated advice on testing within 90 days of a positive
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for people receiving direct payments
Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support – updated ‘Using direct payments during the coronavirus outbreak: full guidance for people receiving direct payments and personal assistants’ to reflect the latest guidance on the COVID-19 booster programme, travel and self-isolation, and the extension of the free PPE scheme until 2023.
Vulnerable children and young people survey
Summary of local authority survey in England to help understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on children’s social care.
COVID-19: arranging or attending a funeral or commemorative event
Guidance for arranging or attending a funeral or commemorative event during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – updated in line with removal of legal requirement to wear face coverings.
Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread
Edited chapters: NHS Covid pass, Face coverings and Travelling in the UK and abroad
Finding and choosing a private coronavirus (COVID-19) test provider
Lists of and information about private test providers, to help you get the private COVID-19 tests you need – updated list of providers
How to do a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test
Find out how to do a rapid lateral flow test for COVID-19 and report the results. Rapid tests are only for people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 – added Be My Eyes app information: live video call with NHS Test and Trace staff to help people to take a COVID-19 test and report the result.
HEALTH & WELLBEING:
COVID-19: estimated administrative vaccine uptake for people aged 18 and over
Daily percentage of the UK population aged 18 and over who have received a first dose, second dose, or third or booster dose to date – added data for 26 January.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: Headline Results 26 January 2022
An interim release of latest data from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection survey containing high level estimates for?England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.?This survey is being delivered in partnership with the University of Oxford, University of Manchester, UK Health Security Agency and the?Wellcome?Trust. This study is jointly led by the ONS and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) working with the University of Oxford and Lighthouse laboratory to collect and test samples. The headline results are a temporary publication presented in advance of our fuller, regular weekly bulletin issued at midday each Friday.
HOSPITALITY & LEISURE:
Carrying out COVID-19 status checks at your venue or event
Guidance for organisations that choose to use the NHS COVID Pass or equivalent proof of vaccination or testing as a condition of entry, and how to operate the scheme – updated to reflect the fact that it is no longer a legal requirement for venues or events to check the COVID-19 status of attendees as a condition of entry.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers
Walking, cycling and travelling in vehicles or on public transport during the coronavirus outbreak – easing plan B measures and removing the legal requirement to wear a face covering.
Publishing information about your claimsIn January HMRC published the list of employers who claimed under the CJRS for periods from December onwards, on GOV.UK.
Repayment period for Bounce Back Loans extended to ten yearsBusinesses that took out government Bounce Back loans to help them through the Coronavirus crisis now have more time to repay. Companies will be contacted with options to extend the length of the loan from six to 10 years as part of a new ‘pay-as-you-grow’ initiative. The new proposals give businesses three new options:
1. Extending the length of the loan from six years to 10;
2. Making interest-only payments for six months, then repaying the principal on a phased basis with other interest-only periods;
3. Delaying repayments entirely for up to six months.
COVID-19 Winter Plan
The government’s plan for managing COVID-19 through the end of 2020 and into the start of 2021.
Government extends JRS furlough scheme at 80% for period of lockdown
The government has said the furlough scheme, due to have closed on 31st October, would now be extended until December.
New National Restrictions from 5 November
Information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available.
Job Retention Bonus (JRB)
Employers are able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), kept continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021 and who meets the other eligibility criteria. Claims can be made between 15 February and 31 March.
Become a Green Homes Grant Supplier II – Trustmark and PAS 2030The new Green Homes Grant will give over 600,000 homeowners in England up to £10,000 to install insulation, heat pumps, draft proofing and more to help households cut energy bills.
Check if you’re eligible for the coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension
The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can get.
Hospitality venues in England are now legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000.
Designated businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues, will also be legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace and required to display official NHS QR code posters under law
NHS Test and Trace service in the workplace
Guidance on the NHS Test and Trace service for employers, businesses and workers updated to reflect the new legal requirements for designated venues to collect contact details and display official NHS QR code posters from 24th September
Claim money back through the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
Find out how to claim the reimbursement for discounts given to diners with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme closed on 31 August 2020 – the page updated with removal of registration links.
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.
Kickstart Scheme employer resources
If you’ve been offered Kickstart Scheme funding, you can use these resources to show your support for the scheme.
Kickstart Scheme employer contacts
List of regional contacts for employers applying for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme.
Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do
Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak – guidance updated in line with new regulations coming into force on 4 July
Apply for the coronavirus Future Fund
The Future Fund will provide UK Government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme set to launch
Employers will be able to make claims through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme from 26 May.
Government – Guidance on Returning to Work safely
Government – Setting out of Road Map to recovery – 11th May 2020
Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s 60 page COVID-19 recovery strategy
The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. The strategy sets out a cautious roadmap to easing existing measures in a safe and measured way, subject to successfully controlling the virus and being able to monitor and react to its spread.
Coronavirus Act 2020: status
A table setting out the status of each measure in the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Government – Financial Support
New 100% government backed loan scheme for small business
Government – Financial Support
CBILS – A guide to whether it may be the best options for a business
Government – Financial Support
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – online claims portal open
Government – Business Support:
Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool
Government – Business Support Hub:
Government – Business Support:
Government – Business Support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
Government – Financial Support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding
Bank of England – Financial Support: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/news/2020/march/the-covid-corporate-financing-facility
Gov.uk: Maintaining Educational Provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
UK Lockdown – Further businesses to close and exceptions: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874732/230320_-_Revised_guidance_note_-_finalVF
Health – updates from NHS
Health – Shielding the most vulnerable https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
Recruitment: – DWP and Universal Credit: http://news.dwp.gov.uk/dwplz/lz.aspx?p1=MQsDU1NjQ5MlM2OTA0OjNCNDJBOEZCRTJDOUJEOTc1ODQ0RTRCRDNDNzk4QUNF-&CC=&p=0