January 24, 2022 12.05 pm

COVID cases up week-on-week ahead of restriction scrapping on Thursday

Numbers back up again

New COVID cases in Greater Lincolnshire increased by a third last week as England looks to scrap the majority of restrictions in the next few days.

The government’s coronavirus dashboard showed an additional 8,742 cases were confirmed across Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, compared to 6,545 the previous week.

Deaths increased from 17 to 19 across the two weeks, but remain comparatively low.

On Thursday, the rules making face coverings mandatory, urging people to work from home and COVID passes are set to end.

The latest relaxations come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to come under fire for parties and gatherings allegedly held in government buildings during lockdown restrictions.

A report by Sue Gray, who is investigating the allegations, is due later this week.

It comes as World Health Organisation bosses said on Monday morning Europe could be moving towards the end of the pandemic.

WHO Europe director Hans Kluge told the AFP news agency today: “It’s plausible that the region is moving towards a kind of pandemic endgame.”

He said there would be “global immunity” due to vaccines and prior infections.

However, there are fears new variants currently being investigated could be more severe.

“We anticipate that there will be a period of quiet before COVID may come back towards the end of the year, but not necessarily the pandemic coming back,” said Mr Kluge.

“There is a lot of talk about endemic but endemic means… that it is possible to predict what’s going to happen. This virus has surprised [us] more than once so we have to be very careful.”