The statment reads as follows:
"The new Covid variant “Omicron” is now increasing rapidly and is a very serious threat in Liverpool and across the rest of the UK.
The rate of Covid infection from Delta variant was already high in Liverpool, and we are now seeing a second epidemic of Omicron variant on top of this. The Omicron variant is spreading at an extraordinary rate – faster than what we have seen before, and is causing local outbreaks in our communities, and disruption to health and care services, and to the wider economy.
The Omicron variant rate is doubling in less than two days in the North West, and almost a third of Covid cases are now Omicron variant. The reality is therefore that we are highly likely to be facing a record peak of cases in a few weeks.
Unfortunately, fewer people in Liverpool are protected with Covid vaccine compared with the rest of the UK – a third of adults in Liverpool have not yet had two doses of vaccine, 7 out of 10 people haven’t yet had a booster.
Many people are likely to get sick at the same time, and due to the high number of cases, many people are likely to be hospitalised and in intensive care after Christmas. Doctors and nurses have grave concerns about whether they will be able to treat everyone who needs medical treatment in a timely way.
In light of this threat, we are issuing new advice to everyone living or working in Liverpool. Young and old, we all need to take action to protect ourselves, our families, friends and neighbours, and to keep our precious health and social care system from collapsing.
This is about us all doing the right thing – not just about following rules.
- Limit your close contact with other people outside your household. Think carefully before you mix with other people because the Omicron variant is spreading fast and is a grave threat. If you choose to go to an event or mix with other people, follow the guidance below.
- Meet people outdoors where you can. If you decide to meet indoors, avoid crowds, open the windows and make sure there is fresh air circulating.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a face covering anytime you are in close contact with people you don’t live with. Assume that whomever you meet is infected.
- Take a rapid test (LFT) before you meet people, and ask other people to take a test too, including people you live with. Testing is especially important before you meet vulnerable people at risk of serious illness from Covid, for example, elderly people, pregnant women and those with longterm health conditions.
- Get your 1st or 2nd dose of the Covid vaccine as soon as possible, and the booster as soon as you can. Everyone over 18 is eligible for the booster. If you have not had a vaccine yet, come forward now. Vaccines are free, safe, and effective, and will help to protect you from symptomatic illness as a result of covid infection.
- If you have symptoms of Covid, even if mild, please immediately isolate and book a PCR test. There is a high risk that people you live with will get infected too, so try to isolate away from other people, wear a face covering if you are in the same room and windows open, and wash your hands frequently and regularly clean the environment.
- If you have been in contact with someone who has Covid, you are at much greater risk of becoming infected, and you may spread infection to others. You must isolate for 10 days unless you have had two doses of vaccine or are aged less than 18 years and 6 months.
- If you are notified to isolate by NHS Test and Trace, and you are on a low income and will lose earnings as a result of having to isolate you may be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. For more information about support to isolate, call 0800 169 3032 or go to https://liverpool.gov.uk/communities-and-safety/emergency-planning/coronavirus/help-for-people-and-communities/ask-for-help/
- If you are a close contact but are fully vaccinated or aged less than 18 years and 6 months, do daily rapid tests (LFTS) for a week, before you leave the place you live. Minimise your contact with people outside your household, and stay away from anyone who is vulnerable to serious illness from Covid."
Grab a jab!
There are plenty of options available in the city to grab your first, or second jab, or a booster to help you have a happy, safe and healthy Christmas and New Year.
Go to www.liverpoolccg.nhs.uk/drop-in-vaccination for the latest drop-in dates and times.