Covid-19 Update 4 January 2022 6.15pm

John Cook

  • PM news conference today at 5pm.
  • The UK has recorded a further 218,724 coronavirus infections – a new daily record.
  • Two million vaccine appointments available over next week – NHS England
  • The health service says there is “plenty of capacity” for those who have not been able to come forward so far.
  • Anyone who has had COVID must wait 28 days before having a booster.
  • The PM said the country is in a different position to previous waves due to the vaccination programme and that the UK now has “a substantial level of protection”.
  • He added that with the Plan B measures set to continue “we have a chance to ride out this Omicron wave without shutting down this country once again”.
  • Chris Whitty said that last week 1 in 25 people in England had Covid and that figure is expected to rise.
  • When asked the PM said there was a ‘Good chance’ of no more restrictions but ‘can’t rule anything out’  He added, “we will monitor everything very closely – we clearly can’t rule anything out.  If you ask me to guess, I would say we have a good chance of getting through the Omicron wave without the need for further restrictions – and without the need, certainly, for another lockdown.”
  • The DfE press release on 3 January 2021 Testing measures to ensure young people return to classrooms said:-
    • All secondary schools have been asked to provide one on-site test for pupils ahead of their return to the classroom this term to help reduce the transmission of Covid-19.
    • Education staff and college students are being asked to self-test at home before they return, and were sent home with tests ahead of the Christmas break.
    • Secondary, college and university students and education staff and early years staff should then continue to test themselves twice a week, and more frequently if they are specifically asked to do so, such as in the event of an outbreak.
    • 12-15 year olds are encouraged to get fully vaccinated (two doses), to ensure they are protected. 16 and 17 year olds are now eligible for boosters and are being strongly encourage to take up this offer when invited to do so, along with university students.

General Guidance (

  • Get vaccinated and get your booster dose.
  • Wear a face covering in most indoor public places and on public transport.
  • Work from home, if you can.
  • Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer.
  • Get tested and self-isolate if required.

Changes to Self-isolation

  • It is now possible to end self-isolation after 7 days, following 2 negative LFD tests taken 24 hours apart. The first LFD test should not be taken before the sixth day.

Schools COVID-19 operational guidance
The DfE updated the Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak guidance on 2 January 2022 to include the use of face coverings in classrooms for Year 7 and above.  The full guidance states:-

From January 4th, we also recommend that in those schools where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms. This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons. This will also be a temporary measure.

Pupils in these schools must also wear a face covering when travelling on public transport and should wear it on dedicated transport to and from school.

We would not ordinarily expect teachers to wear a face covering in the classroom if they are at the front of the class, to support education delivery, although settings should be sensitive to the needs of individual teachers.

In primary schools, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and adults (including visitors) when moving around in corridors and communal areas. Health advice continues to be that children in primary schools should not be asked to wear face coverings.

Face coverings do not need to be worn when outdoors.

General Guidance
The general coronavirus guidance starts here:-

John Cook – Solicitor

John Cook

I am a qualified Solicitor with over 30 years’ experience running a business, managing a team, appearing in the Employment Tribunal and advising on almost every conceivable employment law and HR issue. Clients appreciate my down to earth and straight forward approach that allows them to achieve results and manage their organisation more effectively. I take the worry out of employment law and HR issues with a proactive and robust approach.