Regular video updates on Covid-19 from Director of Public Health Sheffield, Greg Fell.
Changes to Covid restrictions from 30th November
New Covid-19 restrictions will come into force from 30th November in response to the emergence of UK cases of the Omicron variant.
From Tuesday (30th), face coverings must be worn in shops and on public transport, unless medically exempt.
International arrivals into the UK must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative test.
All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must also self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status, and will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
Pupils in Year 7 and above have been advised to wear masks in communal areas in schools.
The Government has said that these restrictions are precautionary and will be reviewed in three weeks.
Greg Fell, Director of Public Health in Sheffield, said:
"New variants of concern are always a worry as we don't know exactly how transmissible they are or how effective our current vaccines will be, but they don't change how we tackle Covid. The government has acted swiftly following the emergence of this variant and that should be taken as an indicator of the level of concern.
"That's why it's important that we're getting on the front foot and taking these steps to try and limit the spread now as a precaution.
"We won't fully understand the impact of the Omicron variant for a couple of weeks, but by taking measures such as wearing face coverings now, which we know do make a difference to transmission, we can all do our bit.
"We want to go forward, not back, and it's better that we take precautionary measures now that could put us in a better position over the coming winter months. Despite these changes, I want to reassure people that there’s no need to panic. There have been no known cases of Omicron in Sheffield so far. We know this will develop over the coming days and weeks and we will provide further updates.
“As ever, guidance will be available for businesses to help make sure they're Covid-secure and Business Sheffield advisors are on hand to provide support.
"The same fundamentals still apply: get your booster jab, wear a face covering, test, isolate and take care of yourselves."
The full Government guidance on the new restrictions can be found here.
To find out more about booking a Covid-19 test in Sheffield, please visit https://bit.ly/Community_Testing.
When to book a test
If you have Covid-19 symptoms, you need to get a free PCR test done within 48 hours. If you have symptoms you must also self-isolate at home and only leave your home to get a test.
If you have symptoms call 119 or follow the testing information on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/coronavirus to arrange a test.
Anyone without symptoms can also take a rapid Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test twice a week. These tests are available for everyone in England and there are several ways of getting them, such as ordering them online.
There are now nasal only LFD tests with different waiting times. The tests you get may be different to the ones you have done before so always check the pack instructions.
Information on Covid support available in Sheffield, including Test and Trace Support Payments, can be found at: www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/coronavirus-hub/support-for-people .
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