Lancashire’s Directors of Public Health have urged people across Preston and Lancashire to take the threat of Omicron seriously, as they welcome the government’s decision to move to Plan B.Advertisement
On Wednesday evening (December 8) Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England will move to stricter Covid restrictions, as outlined in the Covid-19 Autumn/Winter plan.
Read more: Lancashire’s Directors of Public Health urge those in Preston to follow reintroduced Covid measures
It comes as Omicron is spreading rapidly across the UK – with several cases confirmed in Lancashire and more expected.
As seen in previous waves, a swift rise in cases can lead to a rapid rise in hospitalisations.
The move to Plan B is intended help to slow the spread of the Omicron variant and reduce the chances of the NHS coming under unsustainable pressure, while buying time to deliver more boosters.
While it is likely there is some level of reduced vaccine effectiveness against Omicron, it is still too early to determine the extent of this, and more time is needed to study the variant.
The new measures mean that from Friday, December 10, mandatory face covering rules are extended to most indoor settings but will not include hospitality settings.
From Monday, December 13, people will be advised to work from home if they can. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to travel to their workplace.
Finally, from Wednesday December 15, people will need to show their NHS Covid Pass to enter places where large crowds gather, such as nightclubs or large sporting events.
This will mean a requirement to show vaccination status or a recent negative Covid test to enter certain high-risk settings.
Read more: Mandatory masks, PCR testing and booster jabs for all adults as government prepares for Omicron variant
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health for Lancashire County Council, said: “Getting vaccinated is still the best thing people can do to protect themselves. I strongly encourage anyone who is eligible for a first, second or booster vaccination to get it without delay.
“At this moment in time vaccinations alone are sadly not enough, which is why every one of us needs to take personal responsibility by following the national Covid-19 advice.
“We must take the threat of Omicron seriously.
“It is understandable that people want to get back to normality after living with Covid-19 for so long, but only through collective action can we overcome this latest setback.”
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