Residents advised to limit social contact
In the run-up to Christmas, it’s understandable that people across Herefordshire plan to celebrate with friends and family. However, it’s also important to remember that COVID-19 will not take a break over the festive period. Therefore, we ask all residents to follow government guidance and advise everyone to prioritise who you meet with so you don't miss out on seeing those who are most important to you.
Following advice to limit social contact, along with other measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19, will help protect you, your loved ones and the NHS, which is always under pressure over the festive period.
Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones, our acting director of public health, says:
“We all want to enjoy Christmas. But it’s important to remember that the best present you can give friends and family is their safety. This is why we are asking people to think about who they are meeting, prioritising those who are most important to them and limit other social contacts. We’re also asking residents to take steps to celebrate safely when they do meet friends and family.
“Testing is also a vital part of reducing the spread of this virus. We want people to enjoy themselves while staying safe. So, if you do plan to meet people outside your household you should take a lateral flow test beforehand.
“If you haven’t yet had your vaccination or booster, now is the time to book.
“And don’t forget the other important measures we should all be taking every day to reduce the spread of the virus - keep washing and sanitising hands; wear face coverings when out shopping, in places of worship and on public transport; work from home where possible and let fresh air into indoor spaces.
“And if you have a temperature, cough, loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, no matter how mild, you need to isolate and get a PCR test as quickly as possible.”
Stay up to date with the latest safety advice
You will either need an NHS COVID pass or evidence of a negative lateral flow test to get into large venues with 500 or more people. University students going home for the holidays should take a rapid test before travelling. Lateral flow tests are available free of charge from many pharmacies. Our webpage on testing for COVID-19 helps you play your part in keeping safe.
If you have any symptoms, you need to get a PCR test as quickly as possible and isolate until you either get a negative result confirmed or until 10 days have passed from symptoms starting.
Contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19, who have had two doses of the vaccine or are under 18, should take a daily lateral flow test for seven days. Anyone who has not received their first two doses of the vaccine must isolate for 10 days.
Find out more about keeping Herefordshire safe by visiting this webpage.
Stay up to date with all government advice on coronavirus by visiting: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.