The eight things you should do to stay safe from Covid-19 this Christmas

East Riding Council has called on people aged 11 and over to get negative Lateral Flow Test (LFT) results before going to large Christmas events and gatherings.

East Riding Council public health officials have said people should also wear face masks in crowded indoor and outdoor spaces as colder temperatures put conditions in coronavirus’ favour.

Officials added high infection rates, particularly among young people, also meant eligible people should get booster vaccines to avoid becoming seriously ill.

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The advice comes as both East Riding and Hull City Council public health officials are bracing for the arrival of the Omicron variant which has been found in neighbouring areas.

Facemasks are now mandatory in shops in EnglandFacemasks are now mandatory in shops in England
Facemasks are now mandatory in shops in England

East Riding public health lead Andy Kingdom said the new variant would likely mean tough weeks ahead, adding the coronavirus situation was already very serious.

Mr Kingdom also told a council health committee unvaccinated people should not go to Christmas Day gatherings because of the risk of coronavirus spreading.

His Hull counterpart Julia Weldon said people should go above and beyond coronavirus rules to lessen the blow from Omicron and avoid stricter measures later.

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East Riding Council’s public health teams stated their advice was designed to let people join in with Christmas parties, work outings, carol concerts and other such events cancelled last year.

Officials stated: “After the festivities were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, you only have to watch the adverts on TV to feel the pressure we have all imposed on ourselves, our loved ones and colleagues to go all out to make up for the annual family gatherings, drinks parties, work nights out, carol concerts or nativity plays that were cancelled last December.

“It is particularly advised that an LFT is used before large events or parties, especially during the holiday period to help prevent transmission as much as possible and help protect those around you, especially if there are elderly or vulnerable individuals attending.

“Around one in three people with coronavirus do not have symptoms so if people test positive and self-isolate it will help prevent the virus from spreading.

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“Free LFT kits are available from local council venues including all libraries, leisure centres and customer service centres, and are increasingly being made available from markets, village halls, shopping centres, supermarkets, schools or pharmacies, but if you do struggle to get hold of home testing kits, free LFT packs can still be ordered at or by calling 119.

“It is worth remembering that LFTs are to be used only where there are no symptoms present and as a precaution. If you do have any symptoms or feel unwell, it’s important that you stay at home and order a PCR test.

“If a colleague or family member feels unwell, even with cold and flu symptoms or stomach ache, encourage them to seek a PCR test for reassurance and avoid the workplace until they have had a negative result.”

East Riding Council’s coronavirus advice for Christmas:

- Remember to ventilate where you can or consider wrapping up warm and meeting at an outside venue instead.

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- Open the windows and ventilate if you are car-sharing to and from an event and wear a face covering (unless exempt).

- Ask everyone to do a rapid Lateral Flow Test (LFT) and to get a negative result before meeting up, especially if you work across different locations or from home.

- Order your own drinks and avoid sharing platters/buffets where possible.

- Bring hand sanitiser for you and your colleagues/household to use before you enter the venue and as you leave. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water when you can and when you get home.

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- If you or someone in your household is pregnant or particularly high-risk, please take extra care if attending large events, especially if you are unvaccinated.

- Be kind and think of others.

- Be socially responsible if you know you will be visiting anyone vulnerable or elderly in the days after an event. Is it worth taking the risk?