Businesses and residents are urged to enjoy but plan Covid safe Christmas get-togethers this festive season.
With Covid rates still high across the County, Somerset County Council’s Public Health leaders are reminding everyone to think about how they can enjoy the festivities, whilst still taking simple measures to help control the spread of Coronavirus.
Everyone can still catch and spread the virus, even if they are fully vaccinated and don’t have symptoms.
With staff parties planned in the run up to Christmas, it’s vital that business leaders take all necessary precautions to keep their staff safe and review their business contingency plans in case staff become infected and need to take time off from work to self-isolate.
To reduce spread, businesses should consider meeting in smaller groups, rather than holding large events, and meeting outdoors is always preferable to prevent spread.
If events are held indoors, organisers should choose well-ventilated venues, where windows and doors can be opened to allow fresh air in.
Somerset’s Public Health leaders are also urging everyone to do a Rapid Lateral Flow Test (LFTs) before attending events. By doing an LFT, everyone can ensure they are not spreading the virus before seeing friends, family and colleagues.
If you test positive with a Lateral Flow Test, self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test. Up to 1 in 3 people with covid don’t have symptoms but can still infect others so it’s important everyone tests to prevent spread.
Professor Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health for Somerset County Council, said:
“When thinking about your Christmas parties, an important thing to consider is how enclosed the venue is. Venues should be well-ventilated with fresh air circulating, and people should do an LFT test before attending, to ensure they are not going to spread the virus to others without knowing it.
“Businesses should also think carefully about their contingency plans, should their staff become infected with covid and need to take time off work to self-isolate. It is worth thinking about whether a business can continue to operate with a reduced workforce over the Christmas period.
“Finally, when you are invited, step forward for your vaccination – be it the first, second or booster jab. The vaccination remains the best form of defence that we have against the virus.” To order your lateral flow tests, please call 119, order a test online at www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or collect them at a local pharmacy with a collection code (www.gov.uk/get-collect-code).
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