Much of Europe is feeling the effects of high Covid numbers at the moment – with countries like Germany, Austria and the Netherlands introducing new restrictions.
With the emergence and potential for rapid spread of the new ‘Omicron’ variant, no one can be sure that the UK will not feel the full brunt of a ‘fourth wave’ of infection.
This underlines the increased importance of vaccination. So if you’re offered a jab – whether it’s a first dose, second, or booster – please take it.
Over the past week, the newly identified Omicron strain has provided another twist in the tale of this dreadful pandemic.
It’s thought to be more infectious than previous variants and we won’t know for several weeks if it’s as bad as, or even worse than, the Delta variant, which has been bad enough.
It again underlines the importance of getting jabbed, wearing a mask in the right places and being cautious.
Wear a mask
Remember…unless you’re exempt, you still need to wear a mask in most indoor spaces in Wales – including shops and on public transport.
Masks in secondary schools
As a precautionary step (while we wait to learn more about Omicron) Welsh Government has said that face coverings should be worn by secondary school pupils in all indoor areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Face coverings also continue to be recommended on school transport.
Drop-in clinics for 12-15 year olds
An up-to-date list of drop-in clinics for 12-15 year olds to receive a first dose is available on the Betsi Cadwaladr website.
Remember that even if you’ve had Covid-19, it’s still recommended that you come forward for your first dose.
Those under 18 who’ve recently had the virus should ideally wait 12 weeks until they get their vaccination, unless they’re in a group that’s at greater risk of serious illness.
We want young people to make an informed decision about vaccination, based on up to date information available from trusted sources.
A good place to start is the Public Health Wales COVID-19 Vaccination Guide for Children and Young People.
Lateral flow tests – latest guidance
The Welsh Government recently updated its guidance on when to take lateral flow tests if you don’t have symptoms.
If you’re over the age of 11, you’re now encouraged to take them twice a week (every three or four days) if you don’t have Covid-19 symptoms.
You’re also encouraged to take a test:
- If you’re going to be in higher risk situations, including spending time in crowded or enclosed spaces.
- Before you visit people who are at a higher risk of severe illness from Covid.
- If you’re travelling to other areas of Wales or the UK.
Reminder – how to get your Covid pass
If you’re over 18, you must show the NHS Covid Pass to enter theatres, cinemas and concert halls – in addition to nightclubs and similar venues.
You can get your pass from the NHS UK website (you can’t use the NHS app to get the pass if you live in Wales). The NHS Covid Pass can be downloaded and printed.
You must be:
- Aged 16 or over.
- Registered with a GP in Wales.
You will need to upload a photo of one of the following:
- Full UK driving licence
- Full European driving licence
(If you don’t have photographic ID or a relevant smart device, you’ll need to request a paper NHS Covid certificate.
GET YOUR NHS COVID PASS