Oldham urged to take Omicron Covid variant seriously as Government introduce Winter Plan B | Oldham Council
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Cllr Arooj Shah Published: Monday, 06th December 2021

Following the announcement that the Government has brought in its Winter Plan B Oldham residents are being called on to follow the new guidance in place to keep us safe.

  • From this Friday 10 December, mandatory face coverings will be extended to most public venues, including theatres and cinemas
  • Guidance to work from home will be reintroduced for those who can do so from Monday 13 December
  • From Monday 13 December, the NHS Covid pass will be mandatory for entry into nightclubs and venues where larger crowds gather

These are in addition to the following measures that are currently in place:

Face coverings are compulsory in shops and on public transport

  • All international arrivals must take a day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result
  • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status
  • Pupils, staff, and visitors at all schools and childcare settings, should wear face coverings in communal areas

The Government has brought in these additional measures to tackle a rise in Omicron Covid cases. The Omicron variant is thought to be highly transmittable which means it can spread more easily and could soon be the dominant variant in the UK. The Winter Plan B measures are aimed at lowering the chance of the virus spreading which will reduce pressure on the NHS.

Director of Public Health in Oldham, Katrina Stephens, said: “This new variant and the rate at which it is spreading is of great concern and the Government implementing its Winter Plan B reflects how serious the situation is. We’ve seen ongoing high rates of Covid in Oldham throughout the pandemic so I’m urging people to follow this new guidance to help keep the transmission rates down and slow the spread.

“We know that getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves against the worst effects of the virus so if you haven’t already now is the time to get your jab. If you are over 40 years old and have had your second dose more than 3 months ago, you can now get your booster dose. Booster doses are really important in maximising our protection against Covid. We’ll be seeing booster jabs open up to everyone aged 18 and over in the next few weeks so when boosters are available for your age group please come forward to get that extra protection.”

Oldham Council Leader, Arooj Shah, said: “We’ve been here before in Oldham and we know what we all have to do to keep each other safe. These new measures are our best chance of stopping the virus from spreading so once again I’m asking you to look out for your friends, family and community by following this new guidance.

“I know many people will find it difficult to listen to the people who have been caught flouting the rules themselves, but we must not follow the example this Government has set through their own actions. We must be better than them and show everyone that we look out for each other here and lead by example.

“Finally, I want to thank everyone in Oldham for what they’ve done so far to keep our Covid rates down. We currently have the second lowest rates across Greater Manchester and we’re lower than the England average thanks to your hard work and sacrifice. If we keep going together we can keep these rates down and get through this.”

The gov.uk website will be updated in the next few days with details of where face coverings must be worn, and more information about the settings at which Covid passes must be shown to gain entry.

Details of how to get a Covid Pass are on the NHS website.

Over the last 7 days, Oldham had a Covid rate of 328 per 100,000 population, which is higher than the rate of 311 for the previous 7 days.  

Over 73% of Oldham residents have now had their first and second vaccine. For more details on where to get vaccinated in Oldham visit the council website.

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