Rachel Flowers, the council’s director of public health, has issued an appeal to Croydon residents to adopt fully the latest rules on face mask-wearing in shops and on public transport, as the borough has seen cases of covid-19 increase again in recent weeks.
“It is vital that we all play our part to keep ourselves safe and protect those around us,” Flowers said.
“To continue to slow the spread of the virus, we must return to being more cautious.”
New rules came into force today, as the government responded to concerns around Omicron, the latest variant of the virus.
From today, everyone in England must follow the new measures:
- Wearing a face covering is compulsory in shops and on public transport
- Pupils, staff and visitors at secondary schools are advised to wear face coverings in communal areas. The guidance also applies to staff and visitors at all schools and childcare settings
- All contacts of suspected Omicron cases will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of a person’s vaccination status
- From 4am today, anyone entering the UK will require a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and will need to self-isolate until they have a negative result
“Due to the sensible precautions we have been taking in Croydon throughout the past year, covid-19 cases and fatalities have declined in our borough. Unfortunately, cases have started to increase again in recent weeks. Now the new covid-19 variant, Omicron, presents another threat to our journey to return to a more normal way of life.
“It is vital that we all play our part to keep ourselves safe and protect those around us. The rise in seasonal infections, and with the impact of the backlog in NHS services, capacity in our GP’s and hospitals remains a serious challenge.
“To continue to slow the spread of the virus, we must return to being more cautious as Christmas and New Year approach and there will be more opportunities to socialise with family, friends and colleagues. The next stage of the pandemic is very difficult to predict.
“Vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding serious illness and reducing the spread of covid-19. Providing we all continue to adopt a cautious approach; we can stop things from escalating once again.”
The government has agreed to widen the covid-19 vaccination programme to give more protection to residents by offering booster jabs to adults aged 18 to 39 no sooner than three months after their second vaccination.
Children aged from 12 to 15 will also be offered a second dose of the vaccine 12 weeks after their first.
Residents are also being reminded to keep up these important actions to reduce the risk of catching and spreading covid-19:
- Get your first and second dose of the covid-19 vaccination, and your covid booster jab as soon as you are eligible
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds each time
- Keep your distance from others
- Let fresh air in if you are meeting indoors
- Take a test for covid before going to crowded places or spending time with those who are at greater risk from covid
- Self-isolate if you test positive for the virus
- Keep testing for the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms. Free rapid lateral flow tests and home test kits are available at community venues in Croydon
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