As we enter the festive period with new national COVID-19 guidelines, Calderdale Council is giving advice on how we can all make Christmas as safe and merry as possible.
With increasing cases of the Omicron variant nationally, the Government has moved to its COVID Plan B. Face coverings are required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport unless people are medically exempt; people are advised to work from home if they can; and from 15 December, the NHS Covid Pass is mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather.
To help people enjoy the festive period whilst reducing the spread of COVID-19, the Council is encouraging people to take the following steps to help protect each other, alongside the new national rules:
- Get the vaccine (and booster) when you are invited, even if you’ve had COVID-19. Appointments and walk-in slots are available now across Calderdale for people to get boosters and first and second doses.
- Wear a face covering when indoors in enclosed spaces.
- Try to keep your distance and limit mixing with people you don’t live with.
- Let plenty of fresh air in.
- Take a lateral flow test before mixing with others indoors / attending any festive events.
- Isolate and get a PCR test if you have symptoms that might be COVID-19.
- Get the flu vaccine if you’re eligible.
- Think about which festive events that involve mixing with others are the most important to you, and consider giving the others a miss this year.
- If you’re travelling with friends or relatives in the car, think about opening the windows to let fresh air in (even if it’s just a couple of inches). Think about wearing a mask for the journey.
- If you are going out to meet friends, why not choose a venue that isn’t too crowded and doesn’t have loud music, so people don’t have to shout in each other’s faces?
- If you’re going to an event, the theatre or cinema where there are lots of people, consider delaying seeing elderly or vulnerable family members until 10 days afterwards, and consider giving hugs and kisses a miss when you do see them.
- Frequent handwashing is still as important as ever, not just to prevent COVID, but other winter bugs as well.
Along with the introduction of Plan B measures, the Government also announced enhanced guidelines for care home visiting, to reduce the risk of transmission and outbreaks. This included changes to the number of people who can regularly visit, as well as enhanced testing arrangements for visitors.
The Council continues to give advice to care homes and is supporting them to implement the new guidance. Proactive work has continued throughout the pandemic to support safe visiting practices and maintain infection prevention and control measures.
For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as: