One confirmed case of the Omicron variant in Bristol

Bristol has one confirmed case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. All close contacts have been identified by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), advised to take PCR tests and are self-isolating as they await their results.

Director for Public Health and Communities Christina Gray said today: “UKHSA has informed us of one confirmed case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in Bristol. All close contacts have been identified and informed that they are required to self-isolate for 10 days.

“We continue to work closely with UKHSA and our local partners to protect the health and safety of local people, however, we should expect to see more cases in quick succession in the coming days and weeks. UKHSA are publishing regular reports which are available on GOV.UK. We understand that this report may also include numbers of possible cases, which are likely but not yet confirmed by a laboratory.

“The preventative and protective measures for Omicron are the same as for existing variants. Please remain cautious and follow the well-known precautionary actions and behaviours including; washing your hands, covering your face, fresh air and ventilation.

“You must wear a face covering, unless you are medically exempt – this is now legally required on public transport, in taxis and in shops and other public settings. Even when it’s not mandatory, we strongly recommend that you wear a face covering, especially if you’re somewhere enclosed where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

“Both PCR and lateral flow (rapid) tests are picking up infection from the Omicron variant. If you’re heading into town to do some Christmas shopping, going to a social event or somewhere you might be mixing with people in crowded, indoor places, please take a lateral flow (rapid) test. This is equally important if you’re visiting a friend, family member or loved one who is more vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19.

“If you’re feeling unwell, stay at home and recover safely – don’t spread it around. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, self-isolate immediately and book in for a PCR test.

“Most importantly, come forward for your vaccination if you’re eligible. There is still time to get your first dose and second dose if you haven’t already. If you’re eligible for your COVID-19 booster vaccination or your flu jab, please come forward. The more people that are vaccinated, the more everyone is protected.

“I also want to remind you about being conscious of the risks of international travel. New guidance is in place, including the requirement to take a PCR or lateral flow (rapid) test at least 48 hours before returning to England from abroad, as well as in the 48 hours after arrival. You must self-isolate until you receive a negative test result – no matter your vaccination status.

“By continuing to follow these precautionary measures, we can protect our communities and those most vulnerable. Every action, however small, makes a difference. We will keep you up to date with any further information or action.”

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