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Omicron: what you need to know in Hull

As details continue to emerge on new Coronavirus variant, Omicron, Hull’s Director of Public Health has said the time to act is now. Julia Weldon urged people to follow new national instructions on masks, isolation and international travel and to take additional steps wherever possible.

The mandatory changes are:

  • Face coverings are a requirement in shops and on public transport – this is law, and people who don’t wear one (unless exempt) can be fined
  • Everyone who has been in contact with someone who may have the Omicron variant must self-isolate. Unlike other variants, this includes people who have had a vaccine and children. This is also the law
  • Everyone arriving from abroad must isolate at home and take a PCR test on or before day two after arriving. If the result is positive, people must continue to isolate at home for 10 days. This is also now the law
  • A third dose of the vaccine will be made available to everyone aged 18+. Further detail of how and when this can be booked is currently being finalised. In the meantime, people are advised to wait to be contacted by the NHS.

Julia Weldon, Director of Public Health, said: “While it’s important we all follow the revised mandatory national guidance, we don’t need to stop there. We are safer and we keep others safer if we just go a little further. Wearing masks everywhere that’s enclosed or crowded; being thoughtful about socialising and taking an LFT before meeting up; keeping indoor spaces ventilated; washing and sanitising regularly. We don’t need a government mandate to take care of each other.

“The fact third doses of the vaccine are being made available to all adults emphasises the crucial role it plays. Getting vaccinated remains the most important thing you can do to prevent becoming seriously ill with the virus. Nationally around three quarters of those in hospital with the virus are not vaccinated and the situation locally is very similar. It’s fine to have questions or concerns about getting it, but, unless you’re unable to have it for medical reasons, there is simply no argument that it doesn’t work, or that it is not safe. If you do need reassurance, seek out reliable NHS resources online or speak to your GP. If you’re yet to have a first or second dose, you haven’t missed your chance. Get it booked now

“In terms of Omicron itself, with information continuing to emerge and the situation changing rapidly, we are working closely with colleagues at a local and national level to understand any impact for Hull. As with other variants which have emerged, we can reasonably expect that we will eventually have cases here. The more careful we are now, the lesser that impact will be.

“The symptoms of Coronavirus remain the same. If you have a temperature, cough or can’t taste or smell, you must isolate immediately and book a PCR . If you test positive, you must continue to isolate. This applies to everyone, including those who have had all their vaccines.

“It really is so important that we take all the steps we can now to protect ourselves and those around us and reduce the chance of further restrictions becoming necessary.

“Should anything change locally or nationally, we will communicate these immediately”.

Book a vaccine here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

Get full details of the changes, including red-list countries here: Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Check the council’s social media feeds (@hullccnews and @healthhull on Twitter; search Hull CC news on Facebook; @lovehullHQ on Instagram) and this page for detail and daily updates on where to get LFTs: https://www.hull.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-community-advice-and-support/lateral-flow-testing-kits

Book a PCR test here: https://www.google.com/search?q=book+pcr+test&rlz=1C1GCEA_enGB834GB834&oq=book+pcr+test&aqs=chrome.0.69i59.3704j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Apply for a £500 support payment if you need to isolate here: https://www.hull.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-community-advice-and-support/test-and-trace-support-payment.

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