As it happenedended1642097855

Covid news: UK cases and deaths drop as isolation cut to five days and departing Van-Tam praised

Daily figures slump after Christmas and new year highs: follow updates below

Health secretary announces Covid isolation period cut to five days from next week

The UK reported 109,133 new coronavirus cases and 335 deaths this afternoon, both of which are down on the last few days with infections in particular dropping by around 20,000.

It comes after Covid-related fatalities reached their highest number since last February, with 379 and 398, on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

Earlier, Sajid Javid announced the isolation period after testing positive for Covid in England will be cut to five full days from next Monday, to get staff back to work faster. People will still have to test negative on the final two days of isolation.

During the same Commons session, while paying tribute to England’s outgoing deputy chief medical officer, Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, the shadow health secretary commended him not only for “providing outstanding public service” through Covid – but for “working with the PM” for as long as he had.

“JVT already has a knighthood, but working with the prime minister, he must have the patience of a saint,” Labour’s Wes Streeting said.

1642067510

Sajid Javid pays tribute to Professor SirJonathan Van-Tam

Health secretary Sajid Javid pays tribute to Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam praising his “relentless work ethic” as he steps down as the deputy chief medical officer.

“It has been an honour to work side-by-side with Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam and I am hugely grateful for his advice and guidance since I became Health and Social Care Secretary,” he said.

“JVT’s one-of-a-kind approach to communicating science over the past two years has no doubt played a vital role in protecting and reassuring the nation, and made him a national treasure.”

Thomas Kingsley13 January 2022 09:51
1642068352

NEW: NHS experiences worst A&E waiting times on record

The NHS experienced the worst A&E waiting times since records began in December, with 12,986 patients waiting more then 12 hours. The figure is up from 10,646 in November 2021.

Meanwhile the number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to a new record high. A total of 6.0 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of November 2021, according to NHS data. This is the highest number since records began in August 2007.

Our health correspondent, Rebecca Thomas, has more on this story:

NHS experiences worst A&E waiting times on record

The NHS experienced the worst A&E waiting times since records began in December, with 12,986 patients waiting more then 12 hours. The figure is up from 10,646 in November 2021.

Thomas Kingsley13 January 2022 10:05
1642069814

DVLA workers should be allowed to work from home as coronavirus in Swansea office soars

DVLA workers should be allowed to work from home as coronavirus cases in their Swansea office have now passed 1,700 in the Omicron wave, ministers have heard.

Labour MP Geraint Davies (Swansea West) told the Commons: “A year ago, Phil Grant of the DVLA tragically died of coronavirus. He was a man in his 60s with a heart condition, who was previously allowed to work from home in the first lockdown and was forced to go to work.

“A year on, just pre the last Christmas, the unions and the management agreed after 700 cases of coronavirus at the DVLA that there should be new arrangements for people to work from home and a rota system to allow safety, and the Government intervened and stopped that being reinstated on the grounds Omicron wasn't as dangerous”

Mr Davies asked Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay to intervene and allow the plan agreed by DVLA management and the unions “to be implemented for at least a couple of months".

Thomas Kingsley13 January 2022 10:30
1642070414

Watch: A look back Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam’s key warnings in the pandemic

Too many people think pandemic is over, warns Jonathan Van-Tam
Thomas Kingsley13 January 2022 10:40
1642071614

Why you shouldn’t share pictures of your Covid tests online

People are being urged not to post pictures of lateral flow tests returning negative results for Covid-19 on social media because criminals are using them to make fake passes.

Some venues in the UK such as nightclubs require customers to provide a negative test or prove their vaccination status before entering.

Security experts are now warning that an illegal trade is developing whereby fraudsters use details of tests posted online to provide others with false negatives, enabling them to lie their way into venues.

Our reporter, Matt Mathers, has the full story below:

Why you shouldn’t share pictures of your Covid tests online

Covid lateral flow tests: Why you shouldn’t share pictures of tests online

Thomas Kingsley13 January 2022 11:00
1642072514

ICYMI: David Frost brands Covid lockdowns a ‘serious mistake’ and says No 10 failed to ‘challenge’ scientists

David Frost has branded Covid lockdowns a “serious mistake”, stepping up his criticism of the beleaguered Boris Johnson as he fights to stay in office.

The former Brexit minister – who resigned last month – said there were too few voices “challenging the epidemiologists”, calling mask-wearing and Covid passes “stuff that doesn’t work”.

Lord Frost also criticised the drive to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions, saying: “We are rushing at some of this stuff. We’re bringing in measures that are sort of unnecessary, too soon.”

Our deputy political editor, Rob Merrick, has the full story below:

David Frost brands Covid lockdowns a ‘serious mistake’ in fresh criticisms of PM

Ex-Johnson ally also attacks ‘net zero’ plan, saying ‘We’re bringing in measures that are unnecessary’

Thomas Kingsley13 January 2022 11:15
1642073202

Sajid Javid to make statement amid speculation Covid isolation could be cut

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to confirm that the time Covid-19 cases have to spend in self-isolation is to be cut.

Mr Javid will update MPs on Thursday, a day after Boris Johnson said a decision would be made on the issue "as fast as possible".

The current UK Health Security Agency guidance is for cases to isolate for at least six full days from the point at which they have symptoms or get a positive test, whichever is first, with release from self-isolation after two negative lateral flow test results on days six and seven. People can leave self-isolation on day seven.

The changes are expected to see people being allowed to leave self-isolation after completing five full days, with negative tests on days five and six.

Read more here.

Thomas Kingsley13 January 2022 11:26
1642073414

Chinese woman stuck living with blind date due to Covid lockdown

A Chinese woman has documented her experience of being stuck in lockdown at a blind date’s home where she had gone for dinner.

The woman, identified only by her first name Wang, said she was on a week-long trip to Zhengzhou city to meet potential suitors when a lockdown was imposed.

“Just after I arrived in Zhengzhou, there was an outbreak and his community was put under lockdown and I could not leave,” Ms Wang said to Shanghai-based outlet The Paper on Tuesday, reported news agency AFP.

Read the full story here.

Thomas Kingsley13 January 2022 11:30
1642074386

Jacob Rees-Mogg says Covid inquiry should examine whether lockdown rules were ‘too hard’ on public

Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has suggested the Covid public inquiry must examine whether lockdown rules, including restrictions on funerals, were “too hard” on individuals or “proportionate”.

Tackled on the No 10 party event, he said the matter was being investigated, but said: “I think everybody understands that people were obeying the rules and these rules were very hard for people to obey.

“I received a message last night from a friend of mine who was unable to go to the funeral of his two-year-old granddaughter — one cannot hear these stories without grieving for those who suffered.”

Our political correspondent, Ashley Cowburn, has the full story below:

Jacob Rees-Mogg says Covid inquiry should examine if lockdown rules were ‘too hard’

Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has suggested the Covid public inquiry must examine whether lockdown rules, including restrictions on funerals, were “too hard” on individuals or “proportionate”.

Thomas Kingsley13 January 2022 11:46
1642077153

BREAKING: Covid isolation period cut to just five days from next Monday

The isolation period after testing positive for Covid will be cut to just five days from next Monday, to get staff back to work faster.

Boris Johnson had rejected the move as potentially dangerous – but changed his mind after the government admitted a blunder over how the rule is applied in the US.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, announced the cut in England, but said people would still have test negative on the final two days of isolation.

Read the full story here:

Covid isolation period cut to just five days from next Monday

The isolation period after testing positive for Covid will be cut to just five days from next Monday, to get staff back to work faster.

Thomas Kingsley13 January 2022 12:32

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in