January 31, 2022 11.54 am This story is over 29 months old

PM Boris Johnson handed Sue Gray report as COVID deaths double in Greater Lincolnshire

NHS vaccine mandate on the agenda today

Ministers are set to meet discuss mandatory vaccinations for NHS staff on Monday as Greater Lincolnshire’s COVID death toll more than doubled and cases increased by a fifth last week, according to the latest data.

Figures released on the government’s COVID dashboard on Sunday showed the region had seen 10,585 cases last week – up from 8,742 the previous week. In total there have now been 249,021 cases across Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire.

However, there were also 36 deaths recorded in the figures, up from 17. In total there have now been 2,671 deaths across Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire.

Sunday marked two years since the first case of COVID was announced in the UK.

Further easing of restrictions today sees no limit on the number of visitors in care homes, and they will only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 days, not 28.

Further measures in the next few weeks will remove weekly asymptomatic PCR tests for care staff, replacing them instead with lateral flow tests before their shifts. Self-isolation periods will also reduce from 14 days to 10.

Later today, ministers will decide whether or not to scrap mandatory COVID vaccinations for NHS staff.

The policy, proposed at the height of the Delta variant, requires staff to be fully-jabbed by April 1, meaning workers must have a first dose by Thursday, or face redeployment or dismissal.

It is estimated around 77,000 NHS workers have had no jab at all.

However, many feel that with Omicron proving to be milder and the NHS facing a staffing crisis, MPs could reassess the situation differently.

Elsewhere, Partygate is back on the scene after it was announced Prime Minister Boris Johnson received the Sue Gray report on Monday morning, ahead of its public release later today.

The report is investigating a number of gatherings held at Downing Street while COVID restrictions were in place with some of the latest allegations around a birthday party for Mr Johnson.

It is widely believed the scandal, when taken in context of a number of others, could mark the end of the Prime Minister’s tenure in Number 10.