Breaking Essex Southend

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s director of public health, Krishna Ramkhelawon, has welcomed the government’s temporary strengthening of Covid-19 measures in response to concerns over the newly identified Covid-19 Omicron variant

What are the new measures?
From Tuesday 30 November, it is compulsory for you to wear a face covering in shops and on public transport in England, unless exempt.
If you come into contact with someone with a suspected case of the Omicron variant, you must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of your vaccination status
From 04:00 GMT on Tuesday, anyone entering the UK will require a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and will need to self-isolate until they have a negative result
Students in year 7 and above (secondary school to university) should wear face coverings in communal areas unless exempt. This also applies to staff and school visitors. This does not include classrooms.
These are temporary measures and will be reviewed after three weeks.

Krishna said: “I welcome the Government’s latest measures in response to concerns over the newly identified Covid-19 Omicron variant. Today I will also be issuing guidance to all early years and education settings advising them that all students should wear face coverings in communal areas and this will also be mandated for staff and visitors.

“Covid-19 rates in Southend-on-Sea have increased by a third on the previous week and that alone shows we must remain vigilant. If we do not protect ourselves by following the safety measures, then containing any new variants is going to be even more difficult for us to do. We are reliant on people resuming previous behaviours including mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and room ventilation.

Krishna added: “I was really pleased with the uptake at our first pop-up clinic, and we will continue to target areas with low vaccination uptake ensuring everyone has access. We are calling on people to do the right thing now because we can prevent further restrictions.

“If you have any COVID-19 symptoms you must self-isolate and get a PCR test. I urge everyone to take up their offer of a vaccine and booster, wear a mask in crowded places, shops and on public transport and continue to wash hands thoroughly and regularly. I thank the people of Southend for their support as the pandemic continues to throw us challenges.”