COVID-19 update... 20 January 2022

Would you like to view this email in a web page? Click here

In today's update:

New cases falling as nation prepares for “Plan A”

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Cumbria has fallen sharply compared to the previous week – suggesting the county has passed the peak of the latest wave.

There were 5,232 new cases recorded in the week ending Friday 14 January - a decrease of 6,364 (or 55%) - down from 11,596 the week before.

In the week ending Tuesday 18 January, the number of new patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 Positive status in Cumbria decreased by 8 from the previous week while the average number of patients with COVID-19 in beds increased by 15 from the previous week.

The full COVID-19 situation report can be found at

Plan A rules

As the situation slowly improves, the government has announced that the measures put in place under Plan B in England will be lifted as the nation moves to “Plan A”.

The announced changes are:

  • People no longer need to work from home and should talk to their employers to agree arrangements to return to the office.
  • From 20 January: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and pupils in secondary school and college classrooms.
  • From 27 January: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and pupils in communal areas of secondary schools, nor for staff in communal areas of primaries. Directors of Public Health will only be able to recommend pupils and staff wear masks in communal areas in places where there are outbreaks or where the local public health situation justifies it, and with sign-off from the Education Secretary.
  • From 27 January: There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering. The government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.
  • From 27 January: Venues and events will no longer be required by law to check visitors’ NHS COVID Pass. The NHS COVID Pass can still be used on a voluntary basis.

For the latest information on COVID-19 guidance and how to stay safe, visit

colin cox

Colin Cox, Cumbria's Director of Public Health:

“It’s really pleasing to see the number of new cases falling as rapidly as they are in our county. Although I say this with caution – as cases are still much higher than they were in previous waves, and they’re still rising among primary aged children. So, we’re not out of the woods yet.

“Plan A does not mean all measures have been lifted. Testing, vaccinations, and self-isolation remain key to protecting ourselves from this virus and getting on with our lives as best we can.

“If you have had to delay getting a vaccination because you have had COVID and have had to wait 28 days, don’t worry, you can still come forward for your 1st, 2nd and booster vaccines. You’ll be made to feel welcome and have the chance to ask any questions.

“Additionally, anyone visiting a healthcare setting – whether it is a GP practice, a clinic, hospital or pharmacy or other – will be asked to keep wearing face coverings. This advice is not changing. And secondary schools in an outbreak are still being advised to use face coverings in classroom settings.”

What are the latest rules on testing and isolation?

Self-isolation rules in England are as follows:

  • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild.
  • You should self-isolate at home while you get a PCR test and wait for the results.
  • You must self-isolate from the day your symptoms started, or from the day you receive a positive test result if you do not have any symptoms.
  • You can end your self-isolation on the sixth day of self-isolation following 5 full days isolating and 2 negative rapid lateral flow test tests taken on consecutive days.
  • The first rapid lateral flow test should not be taken before the fifth day. The self-isolation period remains 10 full days for those without negative results from 2 rapid lateral flow tests taken a day apart. This is the law, regardless of whether you have been vaccinated.

Find out when to self-isolate and what to do on the NHS website.

Self-isolation graphic

Vaccination: get boosted

get your booster

Vaccination is the best protection against becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.

You can get your booster dose 3 months after your second vaccine dose. Book your booster vaccination appointment or find a walk-in vaccination site.

People aged 18 or over can pre-book a booster dose appointment 2 months after their second vaccine dose.

If you have not yet been vaccinated you can still book.

Walk-in sessions available for COVID Boosters and Vaccinations

A number of vaccination ‘Walk-in’ sites are also available in north Cumbria providing more opportunities for people to get their jabs.

Walk-in sites in north Cumbria include

People are still asked to book appointments in advance for sites, wherever possible, to help vaccination teams to manage their vaccine supplies.

Further information on these sites with links to dates, times and the vaccinations available at: 

Lateral Flow Testing before meeting others


Doing a Lateral Flow Test before you meet with people makes sense.

Lateral Flow tests are quick and easy to do. Checking if you have COVID-19 before you meet friends and loved ones is an easy decision to make.

You can order them online for free. Alternatively, you can pick up test kits at your local pharmacy.

Fully vaccinated contacts of someone with COVID-19 should take rapid lateral flow tests every day for 7 days. If you test positive or develop symptoms, you need to self-isolate for 10 days. People who receive negative LFD results on day 5 and day 6 of their self-isolation period – with tests taken 24 hours apart – do not have to self-isolate for the full 10 days. Find out when to self-isolate and what to do on the NHS website.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, book a PCR test and self-isolate.

To find out more about testing in Cumbria, visit the Cumbria County Council website.