Covid bulletin #68 Omicron variant fears

Dec 8, 2021 | Sector & policy

This is the 68th of a series of bulletins produced by ISE to update members on key data and policy relating to Covid-19. This bulletin covers the period 26th November – 9th December 2021.

You can access all of the Covid-19 bulletins on ISE insights.


Latest COVID-19 data and news

Source: Government Covid-19 dashboard.

Please note – December figures in the top graph only currently include data until 03/12/21 for hospital admissions and 07/12/21 for cases and deaths, hence the large decrease shown between November and December. In addition, the average daily hospital admission rate for the most recent week in the second graph is based on data from 29/11/21 – 03/12/21.

The UK has now had almost 10.6m identified Covid-19 cases and 170k deaths (with Covid on the death certificate) in total. Hospital admissions and death rates have been fairly stable for a couple of weeks, but average daily case rates have been rising since early November.

81% of the 12+ UK population are now double vaccinated against Covid-19, with 36.4% of these having also had a third booster dose. 11.1% remain unvaccinated.

  • World Health Organisation has classed a new variant of Covid-19, Omicron, as a ‘variant of concern’. Ed Feil explains why.
  • Experts explain how new variants, like this, arise.
  • Several new restrictions have been brought in as a result of the Omicron variant:
    • Face coverings compulsory in shops and on public transport
    • COVID-19 test (lateral flow or PCR) to be taken in the two days before travelling to the UK from another country
    • PCR test required within two days of entering the UK and self-isolation until negative result received
    • 10 South African countries added to travel ‘red list’ requiring hotel quarantine on return to UK
    • Contacts of suspected Omicron cases to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status or age.
  • The booster campaign is also being stepped up, with jabs to be offered to all over-18s.






Labour market

The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) had been relatively stable since 2017, until a reduction was observed within the first half of this year. However, between July and September, economically inactive figures saw a sharp rise back to where they were at the start of 2021. Unemployment figures continued to fall but not as steeply as they had been.

Source: Young People NEET government dataset

Unemployment measures people without a job who have been actively seeking work within the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks.

Economic inactivity describes those not in the labour force that are not seeking work or able to start work in the next two weeks.


Student recruitment and development

Was this article helpful?


Share This