Council urges North Somerset to follow Omicron rules

Close Up Of Young woman wearing face mask while walking in the streets of London

Face coverings will be mandatory from November 30 in certain settings. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

People are being urged to follow the Government's updated Covid guidance following the discovery of the Omicron variant in the UK.

From November 30, the public will be required to wear face coverings in shops and on public transport as well as other updated isolation periods for the variant.

Pupils at secondary schools in England are strongly advised to wear face coverings in communal areas, as are staff and visitors at all schools and childcare settings.

Anyone who has been in close contact with a case of Omicron will have to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

Cllr Mike Bell, North Somerset Council's executive member for health, said he hopes people follow the advice given by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

Cllr Bell said: “Getting your vaccinations as soon as possible is still one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family from Covid. 

“Anyone with Covid symptoms should isolate and get a PCR test immediately. If you have no symptoms, please take an LFT rapid test before you go to busy places, especially indoors, to minimise the risk of unwittingly infecting others.

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"Taking a rapid test is also recommended before you visit someone that is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19.

“Please wear a mask in all crowded places, as well as public transport and shops, to help break the chains of transmission and slow the spread. Unless you are exempt the very simplest thing you can do is wear a face covering to help protect yourself and others."

Mike Bell.

Cllr Mike Bell has said wearing a face covering is 'the very simplest thing you can do' - Credit: Sub

Boris Johnson also stated that anyone entering the UK from any destination abroad will have to take a PCR test two days after arrival and self-isolate until they have a negative result.

The Omicron variant is believed to be able to spread between double-vaccinated people and has an 'extensive' mutation - this means it may 'at least in part' reduce the protection of the vaccine over time.

The council's director of public health has assured people that they must not see the stricter rules as a step backwards.

Matt Lenny said: “We understand these tighter rules may feel like a step backwards and may be worrying.

“But it is important we do all we can to reduce the spread of Covid in North Somerset. The risk of complications from Covid infection is still real and serious.

“Thankfully the risk of becoming seriously ill is reduced by vaccination and so I urge those that have not had their jabs yet to do so as quickly as they can."

Check for the latest availability for vaccines in your area.