THIS is UK Government advice relating to England and Northern Ireland only
Here are our top tips for staying safe this Christmas…
GET BOOSTED NOW
Get Boosted Now is the national mission to build a wall of defence against the Omicron variant. This is urgent because Omicron Covid-19 is spreading fast. Vaccines are the best way we can protect ourselves.
You can get a Covid-19 booster vaccine 12 weeks after your second dose. Boosters give you the best possible protection against the virus and should significantly reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalisation.
Every adult needs to get a Covid-19 booster because two doses does not give you enough protection against catching Omicron. Get your booster now at nhs.uk/covidvaccination
GET YOUR PASS
In England, on December 15, the NHS Covid-19 Pass on the NHS App became mandatory for entry to nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather.
You’ll be able to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the app. Proof of a recent negative rapid lateral flow test will also be accepted.
Daily testing: Need to know
If you have been in contact with someone with Covid-19, are double vaccinated and have no symptoms, you should take a daily rapid lateral flow test for seven days.
This will help slow the spread of the virus and allow you and your loved ones to continue your plans, if you test negative that day.
All those who test positive within the seven days or develop symptoms must self-isolate, take a PCR test and follow the latest guidance on gov.uk/coronavirus.
If you are unvaccinated, you must continue to self-isolate for ten days if you are a contact of someone with Covid-19.
The NHS COVID-19 app is the fastest way to know if you’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19, so keep it on.
LET SOME FRESH AIR IN
“As Christmas approaches and the weather gets colder, people will naturally be spending more time indoors, welcoming friends and family into their home and attending social events.
“In an enclosed space, infectious particles hang around in the air like smoke and can build up over time, increasing the risk of other people in the room breathing in the virus.
“That’s why it’s so important to ventilate indoor spaces by regularly opening windows, even if it’s just for a short time.”
Catherine Noakes, Professor of Environmental Engineering at Leeds University
“Christmas is around the corner, and we’re all looking forward to spending more time with family and friends. But it’s important to remember that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away. With this in mind, make sure you’re taking precautions to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.
“Keep indoor spaces well ventilated; wear face coverings on public transport, in enclosed public spaces and in large groups; and take a rapid lateral flow test before meeting up with friends and family.”
Dr Helen Lawal, NHS GP
Where to get test kits
- Use any rapid lateral flow tests that you already have at home
- Collect from your school or university if you already obtain test kits from there
- Collect from your local pharmacy – visit maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk
- Collect from your local community test sites – find options at maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk
- Order online at gov.uk
Remember to report your test results whether positive, negative or void at gov.uk/report-covid19-result
WEAR A FACE COVERING
“While vaccines are offering us good protection, Covid-19 is still with us. Stay safe over the festive period by taking simple but effective steps like wearing a face covering in crowded indoor spaces, testing regularly, ventilating rooms where possible and getting a booster or vaccine when offered.
“By doing this, we can reduce the spread of the virus and keep ourselves and others safer.”
Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
WORK FROM HOME IF YOU CAN
Those who can are advised to work from home. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to travel to their workplace.
LOOK OUT FOR LOVED ONES
“Simple steps can prevent the spread of Covid-19 and keep us and our loved ones safe this winter. Wear a mask in crowded and enclosed places, and ventilate rooms.
“Take a rapid lateral flow test before attending indoor gatherings or visiting elderly or vulnerable people. If you’re due a vaccine, get one without delay, and if you have symptoms, stay at home and take a PCR test.”