Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

18 February 2021

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

Key Announcements:

  • Scientists from Imperial College London have said there has been a “strong decline” in coronavirus infections since January, with cases having dropped by two thirds across England, and by 80 per cent in London. The React study has found that virus levels are now similar to those seen in late September 2020.
  • Yesterday there were 12,718 new coronavirus cases reported around the UK, which is down by 24 per cent on the seven-day average. Sadly, 738 people died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
  • A group of 65 MPs and Peers have written and signed a letter to Boris Johnson, asking for the Government to compensate key workers who are currently suffering from long Covid.
  • Minister for Care, Helen Whately, has told Sky News that she wanted to see a return to “normal” care home visits in the coming weeks as Covid restrictions are relaxed.
  • Whitehall officials have reportedly written up a timetable suggesting plans to reopen parts of the economy in the weeks after school pupils return in March. This would see HE and FE students returning in mid-April, with non-essential shops reopening at the same time; hospitality venues, hotels, leisure facilities and sporting venues reopening in late April; and entertainment venues and more sporting facilities opening in early May.


  • Ministers in Stormont are meeting later today to review Northern Ireland’s coronavirus restrictions. It is being speculated that lockdown will be extended, with Health officials urging that any relaxation of rules must be gradual.
  • Researchers have found that pupils in Wales have received notable less money to help catch up on education when compared to other parts of the United Kingdom.
  • Nicola Sturgeon has said that falling Covid-related death rates in Scottish care homes can be viewed as evidence that the coronavirus vaccination programme is working.
  • John Swinny, the Education Secretary in Scotland , has said that some school pupils could be taught from home indefinitely. This was in recognition that physical distancing would need to continue in secondary schools for some time, he said.


  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has begun its roll out across South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa was the first person to receive the jab, and did so live on television to mark the beginning of the vaccination programme.
  • Zanzibar’s vice-president Seif Sharif Hamad passed away yesterday at the age of 77, nearly three weeks after it was reported he had contracted Covid-19.


  • The Resolution Foundation has said that Government support for workers should be wound down gradually to manage levels of rising unemployment .
  • A group of debt charities, lenders and landlords have warned that a rent debt crisis “could lead to homelessness.”
  • There has been a 32 per cent increase in nursing course applications this autumn, with interest rising across all age groups, UCAS has indicated .
  • In a speech later today, Keir Starmer will be setting out “a new chapter for Britain,” with regards to business support.