Everyone must help in fight against Omicron in south Warwickshire - The Leamington Observer

Everyone must help in fight against Omicron in south Warwickshire

Leamington Editorial 20th Dec, 2021 Updated: 20th Dec, 2021   0

EVERYONE has their part to play in fighting Covid during the festive season as the Omicron

variant spreads rapidly in south Warwickshire.

That is the clear Christmas message from health chiefs in Warwickshire as efforts are made to slow down the spread of the new variant sweeping across Europe, barely a month after it was first detected in South Africa.

In Warwick and Stratford districts more than 300 suspected cases of the Covid variant were recorded by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in its latest figures for the week ending December 13.

The actual number is now expected to be much higher on the evidence of its alarming spread, which saw a major incident declared in London at the weekend and more than 10,000 new Omicron cases confirmed in the UK.

Warwickshire County Council community safety spokesman Andy Crump said: “With cases rising, due largely to the emergence of the Omicron variant, and putting pressure on the NHS, we have to increase our vigilance again and ensure that we are doing all that we can to stop the virus transmitting.”

Local authorities, health organisations and Warwickshire Police are working together to provide advice to operators looking to hold late night events over the festive and New Year period.

Newly introduced regulations mean any operator holding an event must ensure everyone attending the venue has a Covid Pass, or evidence of a negative lateral flow test (LFT) taken within the previous 24-hours.

The regulations cover nightclubs and other late night venues, which include any of the following – being open between 1am and 5am, serving alcohol after 1am and having dancing.

They also apply to indoor events with 500 or more people and outdoor events with 4,000 or more – both where attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event.

And the regulations also cover events with 10,000 or more people, whether indoor or outdoor, such as large sports and music events.

Regulatory authorities will work with operators to make sure regulations are adhered to, which will include recording Covid Passes.

And any breaches could result in a formal review of a venue’s licence.

Operators are also being urged to ensure all staff take a daily LFT, wear face coverings, continue to have hygiene facilities at entrances and exits and to maximise natural ventilation.

Coun Crump added: “We are pleased to be working with partners across the county to do all that we can to ensure people can celebrate the festive season safely.

“We urge all event organisers to follow the Government guidance to keep staff and customers safe and help stop the spread of Covid.”

Dr Shade Agboola, Director of Public Health Warwickshire, emphasised it was vital residents continued to take regular LFTs as the booster campaign continued in the county.

She said: “Testing remains a key tool in our armoury in the fight against Covid-19.”

Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/covidtesting for further details.

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