Christmas and New 12 months are particular instances when folks come collectively. These social events are vital, and all of us need to spend time with family and friends. The emergence of the Omicron variant has served as a stark reminder that the pandemic just isn’t over. Circumstances of COVID-19 are rising quickly throughout the UK, with report numbers of circumstances being reported.

It’s due to this fact vital that we’re all cautious over the festive interval and do the issues that may assist preserve ourselves and family members protected.

Reserving your COVID-19 vaccine or booster or attending a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination web site needs to be on the prime of everybody’s to-do record.

With circumstances of COVID-19 set to proceed to sharply enhance, it’s extra vital than ever to get protected and we all know that two vaccine doses alone are usually not sufficient.

Our knowledge exhibits that getting a booster dose of a vaccine offers round 70-75% safety in opposition to symptomatic illness from Omicron and can be extremely efficient in opposition to the Delta variant.

Report numbers of individuals have been coming ahead to get their booster dose in current weeks, and you’ll be part of them. Everybody over 18 can now e book by means of the NHS reserving system.

For individuals who have but to take up their first or second dose, you’ll be able to come ahead and e book these or attend a walk-in clinic.

Getting a COVID jab is a strong technique to scale back your danger of falling severely unwell from COVID-19 this winter. We’re seeing every day report numbers of vaccinations being administered because of the unbelievable work of our NHS colleagues.

In case you are assembly up with others, taking a fast lateral stream check beforehand is strongly suggested. Lateral stream exams are particularly useful at discovering people who find themselves contaminated however wouldn’t have signs and so might unknowingly move COVID-19 on to others. Testing frequently ensures you can safely spend time with family and friends and is particularly vital to assist defend those that are extra susceptible, together with aged relations.

In response to the current excessive demand for lateral stream exams, capability for dwelling deliveries is being doubled and pharmacies have entry to an elevated provide lateral stream exams per week. Order your lateral stream exams on-line or use this on-line software to seek out venues in your group comparable to pharmacies the place you’ll be able to decide them up.

Methods we are able to keep protected and sluggish the unfold

All of us have to do our bit to assist sluggish the unfold of this Omicron wave, together with following the steering and taking smart precautions.

With such excessive quantities of COVID-19 circulating in our communities, the extra folks you meet, the extra probably you may be uncovered to a person who’s infectious. We must always prioritise who we need to see and determine the place we are able to scale back our social contacts.

Should you socialise indoors, then you’ll be able to assist to restrict the possibility of catching and spreading COVID-19 by:

  • opening home windows and maintaining houses effectively ventilated to cease the unfold of COVID-19 – even opening them for 5-10 minutes each hour helps
  • asking buddies and family members to take a lateral stream check earlier than assembly up, and ensure you have examined your self
  • ensuring all continuously touched surfaces are cleaned frequently
  • washing arms with cleaning soap and water for no less than 20 seconds, or utilizing hand sanitiser frequently all through the day

Taking smart precautions whereas we go about every day life could make an actual distinction, comparable to:

  • take a lateral stream check earlier than you exit to satisfy household or socialise with buddies exterior your family.
  • Put on a face protecting in outlets and on public transport, and in susceptible settings comparable to hospitals, care houses, and clinics – that is now necessary.
  • Wash your arms frequently with cleaning soap and water for no less than 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser frequently all through the day – when you depart dwelling, ensure you wash your arms as quickly as you come.
  • Cowl your mouth and nostril with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze​, and disposing of tissues instantly and washing your arms.

What if I’ve been in touch with somebody who has COVID-19

In case you are recognized as a detailed contact of a constructive case of COVID-19, you should observe the suitable self-isolation steering, which was just lately up to date and could be learn in full on-line.

In case you are absolutely vaccinated you do not want to isolate however you might be strongly suggested to do an LFD check every day for seven days and isolate when you check constructive.

When you’ve got had just one vaccine dose or are unvaccinated, you should isolate for ten days. Should you develop signs you need to e book a PCR check.

Folks aged over 5 and beneath 18 years and 6 months don’t have to isolate if not absolutely vaccinated, however ought to take every day LFD exams.

Should you develop any COVID-19 signs, you need to get a PCR check as quickly as attainable and keep at dwelling. Reserving slots for PCR testing websites have elevated with demand rising in current weeks. Each home-delivery and check web site PCR testing can be found. Over the festive interval, PCR testing websites shall be working on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New 12 months’s Day. Discover full particulars of opening hours right here.

Keep in mind, if you’re unwell for any motive, attempt to keep at dwelling if attainable and take precautions to cease sickness from spreading.

The self-isolation steering has modified.

You may take an LFD check from the sixth day of your isolation interval, and one other LFD check 24 hours later. If two consecutive exams are unfavourable, and also you wouldn’t have a excessive temperature, you could finish your self-isolation after the second unfavourable check end result.

You shouldn’t take an LFD check earlier than the sixth day of your isolation interval, and you need to solely finish your self-isolation following two consecutive unfavourable LFD exams which needs to be taken 24 hours aside.

Should you finish your self-isolation early this fashion, you need to nonetheless observe the general public well being recommendation and restrict shut contact with different folks exterior your family, particularly in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated areas. Work at home if you’ll be able to, put on a face protecting particularly when you’re in enclosed or poorly ventilated areas and the place you might be in shut contact with different folks, and restrict your contact with those that are at greater danger of extreme sickness if contaminated with COVID-19.

There may be extra recommendation on keep protected and assist forestall the unfold of COVID-19 accessible right here.



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