Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

22 January 2021

A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.

Key Announcements:

  • A total of 37,892 new coronavirus cases and 1,290 deaths were registered yesterday.
  • The PM said it was too early to tell of the lockdown will end in spring.
  • Date from Thursday shows that 2,054,996 vaccine dozes were administered over seven days.
  • Infections between the 6-15 January were up by 50 per cent on early December, with one in 63 people infected, Imperial College London’s initial findings suggest.
  • The PM will deliver a press conference this afternoon, in which he will say that “we need everybody to keep sticking to the rules and helping to protect hospitals, which are under the most tremendous pressure … We aren’t yet seeing the sharp fall in infections that we had last April and May and we need to keep going.”
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel announced last night that £800 fines will be given to people attending house parties of over 15 people in England; these will double for each repeat offence to a maximum of £6,400.
  • Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster said that Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove had briefed her that there were concerns from Israel about the infection rate among those who had had one vaccine doze.
  • Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said he “certainly hopes” schools in England can fully reopen before Easter; however Downing Street refused to comment on whether this would happen by then.
  • Retail sales fell by 1.9 per cent in 2020, the largest year-on-year fall since records began in 1997.


  • 474 care homes in Scotland are being investigated by a special Crown Office unit on the circumstances of 3,385 death reports.
  • Deputy first minister of Scotland John Swinney said that the spread of Covid-19 in Scotland appears to have fallen due to lockdown – but case numbers remain “concerningly high”.
  • Coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland will be extended until 5 March, with the next review to take place on 18 February.
  • Around 275 cancer surgeries in Northern Ireland have been cancelled in the past week, the Royal College of Surgeons has said.
  • Northern Ireland Education Minister Peter Weir has said that school teachers should be given priority to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.
  • Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething has been accused of “misleading” people after claiming the majority of over 80s had been vaccinated against Covid-19, whereas in reality only 23.9 per cent of the priority group have been vaccinated.


  • Having studied preliminary data from 200,000 vaccinated people, scientists in Israel found that there was no difference in the positivity data between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, and after the 14th day, a drop of 33 per cent in positivity. This is significantly lower than 89 per cent, the trial data based on which the UK made the decision to delay the second doze.
  • Portugal bans all UK flights in order to tackle the rapid spread of the of the new variant of coronavirus.
  • French president Macron said that France will make PCR test compulsory for all those coming into France from Sunday.
  • The French government will recommend that people wear surgical masks in public because fabric masks do not provide enough protection from Covid-19 transmission, health minister Olivier Véran has said.


  • In response to Johnson’s hint that lockdown could continue after spring, Mark Harper, chair of the COVID Recovery Group, insisted the government “must start easing restrictions” once the top four risk groups have been vaccinated and protected.
  • Professor of immunology Herb Sewell, Nottingham University, writes in the Daily Mail that delaying the second doze of vaccine could be a “terrible mistake”. He argues that “weak immune response – as reported in patients after only one dose of mRNA vaccine – could encourage new, vaccine-resistant strains to evolve.”
  • Scientist Marc Baguelin , who sits on SAGE, has said restaurants and bars should not reopen before May.
  • Half of all staff at nurseries, pre-school and childminders said they don’t feel safe and about one in 10 have tested positive since 1 December.

Unconfirmed reports

  • The Guardian reports that according to Department of Health documents , the Government is considering increasing the number of people with symptoms who apply for a test; the preferred solution of the Department is to give each person who test positive £500 to cover their isolation period.
  • Playbook London reports that ministers are not likely to opt for a full border closure and instead go for the quarantine hotels plan.
  • The FT reports that the Chancellor is considering hiking corporation tax to 23 per cent at the Budget.
  • The Guardian reports that the Home Office considered tagging international arrivals for up to 10 days to ensure they abided by Covid-19 quarantine restrictions .
  • The FT reports that the Chancellor has told Conservative MPs he wants to use his March Budget to start restoring order to the public finances.