Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health Devon, said this week:
“The emergence of the Omicron variant, and the uncertainty right now about its impact on our health, is a reminder of how quickly situations can change.
“We know that the Omicron strain of the coronavirus is more infectious than previous variants, and it is clear that we need to do more to reduce the risk of transmission. Taking up third or booster vaccination is vital, and I would encourage everyone who is eligible to do so as soon as possible.
“I also urge everyone to heed the national guidance around the wearing of face coverings, now a requirement in most public places, especially in confined, indoor and crowded spaces; to work from home if you can; and to social distance as much as possible.
“And from today (14 December), people who are double vaccinated or between 5 years and 18 and a half years, who are identified as a contact of someone with coronavirus, whether Omicron or not, will need to take a lateral flow test every day for a week. People who are unvaccinated and identified as a contact to someone with the virus will need to self-isolate for 10 days.
“But while take up of the vaccines in Devon has been very good, not everyone has chosen to. My message to those who are eligible to do so but who have not yet chosen to take up the vaccine, is that it’s not too late. One dose is better than no dose, two doses are better than one, and three doses will give you better protection than two doses from becoming seriously unwell if you to catch coronavirus.”