The Health Secretary Sajid Javid is to give a statement to MPs on Monday (January 31) amid reports the Government is to scrap mandatory Covid-19 vaccines for frontline health and social care workers.
Ministers have been facing pressure to put back the requirement for staff in England to be double jabbed by April amid fears it will lead to a major staffing crisis.
And in the light of the less severe Omicron variant, it is understood that a U-turn could be announced this afternoon.
The Commons schedule has Mr Javid down to make a statement at 5.30pm on vaccination as a condition of deployment.
The requirement for care home staff to have two doses came into force last November, with one charity accusing the Government of using the sector as “the trial run for the NHS”.
Frontline NHS and wider social care staff would need their first dose by Thursday in order to be double jabbed by April 1, and there have been protests and calls for the policy to be delayed.
Latest figures from NHS England show that 127,515 NHS and domiciliary care staff working in registered settings had not had a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine as of January 23.
Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the Treasury, said it was a policy “we have always kept under review” and that the decision was made when the “extremely dangerous” Delta variant was dominant.
He told Sky News: “We continue to monitor that situation very closely.
“What we know about Omicron is it is much more transmissible but less severe – any decision that is taken this week will reflect that reality.
“I can’t pre-judge the decision that is going to be made but obviously we do recognize those realities, and that does open a space where we can look at this again.”
Access Social Care, a charity providing legal advice to the sector, said social care had been used as “the trial run for the NHS” when the Government “ignored” warnings about the impact on staffing in November.
Chief executive Kari Gerstheimer said: “If mandatory vaccinations are removed for the NHS, it is essential that they are also removed for social care.”
It comes on a busy day for the Government with Prime Minister Boris Johnson due to make a statement on the Sue Gray report qt 3.30pm and a statement from Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Russia sanctions.