News of cases of Omicron spreading across the country may be causing anxiety for many of us as we approach the festive period with plans to see more of friends and family.
So getting your booster jab as soon as you can is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself, your family, friends and co-workers from the virus. Please don’t put it off until after Christmas.
In North Somerset, GP surgeries have given the majority of Covid vaccinations and will be doing most of the boosters. Your GP will contact you when it’s your turn to get your jab.
If you’re over 18 you can also book an appointment for a first, second, third or booster dose at the Weston Hospital vaccine clinic.
Local vaccination appointments and walk-ins are busy. If you can’t get a suitable appointment or walk-in, please keep checking as new ones are constantly added and GPs will be in touch with everyone who is eligible by the end of this month.
Find out more about local opportunities to get vaccinated and details of eligibility at www.grabajab.net.
If you’ve been invited and not had a chance to get any of your Covid vaccinations yet, it doesn’t matter why, it’s not too late. Even one dose is better than none, so please book an appointment or get to a walk-in clinic as soon as you can.
The BBC gives a good outline of why the booster works.
What are the new rules?
The ‘Plan B’ coronavirus response was announced last week due to the threat of Omicron.
Following the House of Commons vote on Tuesday, this now means:
- face coverings are compulsory in most indoor public venues, including theatres, cinemas, public transport, shops and hairdressers
- you should work from home where possible
- some venues and events are legally required to check the Covid status of visitors aged over 18. This is done through the NHS Covid Pass, to prove vaccination status or a negative lateral flow test
- anyone entering the UK must get a PCR test within two days of travelling and again within 48 hours of arrival, as well as self-isolating until receiving a negative result.
We understand these tighter rules may feel like a step backwards and may be worrying.
However, it is important we do all we can to reduce the spread of Covid in North Somerset. The risk of complications from Covid-19 infection is still very real and very serious.
You can see more detail on our North Somerset case data on our website.
Meet outdoors if possible when catching up with friends and family to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
If you do meet indoors, take a lateral flow test on the day and don’t attend if it’s positive.
Help reduce the spread
There are a lot of infections spreading this year so if you’re feeling unwell with any symptoms, it’s best to stay home to avoid passing anything on.
If you live with or have been in contact with someone with Covid-19, you are particularly at risk of becoming infected and spreading it.
You will need to self-isolate if you’re contacted by NHS Test and Trace but if you’re fully vaccinated or under 18 and a half-years-old, you can do daily rapid tests for seven days instead.
Rapid tests are free and you can order them online, or collect them from the North Somerset testing van or some local pharmacies. Find out more on our website.
If you then test positive, you’ll need to self-isolate and take a PCR test to verify the result. If this shows is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the day you took the test or started to develop symptoms.
The BBC has a round-up of the self-isolation rules.
Reducing pressure on NHS
All services across our area under significant pressure.
Think 111 first for all urgent but non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses, rather than visiting busy emergency departments and minor injuries units.
Call 111, visit 111.nhs.uk or download the NHS App.