Sunderland urged to 'double down' on Covid-19 as new 'Plan B' measures come into force

People in Sunderland have been urged to ‘double down’ in the fight against Covid-19 after Boris Johnson announced ‘Plan B’ measures.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 4:57 pm

From Friday, December 10, face coverings will be required in most indoor public settings, unless you are exempt.

Office workers who can work from home have been advised to do so from Monday, December 13.

From next Wednesday, December 15, people will be required to show proof of full vaccination status, or a negative test in the last 48 hours, to enter certain venues such as nightclubs or major sporting events.

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People wearing masks in Sunderland City Centre.

The LA7 group of North East councils, which includes South Tyneside, Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Newcastle, warned against the risk of the Omicron variant.

In a joint statement, public health directors for the councils said: “Our communities are once again being asked to step up to help protect each other and the NHS as restrictions are reintroduced in England.

“The Government has announced it will implement its Plan B winter response, based on the evidence and knowledge we currently have of the Omicron variant of concern.

“Given the early indication of its rapid rate of growth, there is every chance it will become the dominant strain of the virus in all corners of the country.

People wearing masks in Sunderland City Centre.

“We always knew there was a risk of new variants emerging which would require a change in direction to keep people safe, and we have no doubt that people right across our region will recognise the need to take Omicron seriously.”

The health directors urged people to follow the new rules and guidance, adding: “Beyond that, we should all double down on our efforts to implement the measures that have already proven themselves to be effective at controlling all variants of this virus.

"This means taking care to give each other space, washing hands regularly, keeping indoor spaces ventilated, getting tested and self-isolating where required.

“To anyone who is yet to be vaccinated, or is overdue a second or third/booster dose, we would urge you to make sure you are fully protected at the earliest opportunity.

"The three approved vaccines – Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Pfizer – are proven to offer high levels of protection, and there are good reasons to believe that a full course of vaccine treatment will protect against severe disease and death with Omicron as well.

"If you have become eligible for a booster vaccination as part of the most recent announcement, you will be contacted by the NHS and advised when to come forward.

“Since the start of the pandemic our communities have rallied round one another and worked tirelessly to keep people safe. Once more we ask that everyone plays their part and together we will overcome this latest challenge.”

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