Council leader urges caution over Covid to slow spread of new Omicron variant across Aylesbury Vale

Martin Tett outlines Government's new 'Plan B' restrictions with reminder for people to get jabbed

Friday, 10th December 2021, 2:05 pm
Updated Friday, 10th December 2021, 5:41 pm

The leader of Bucks Council is urging caution over Covid to slow the spread of the new Omricon variant, and welcomed the Government's move to its ‘Plan B’ with new restrictions coming into force from today(10/12).

In his latest newsletter Martin Tett said: "Although the numbers infected are still very small, the new variant of Covid, known as Omicron, is spreading rapidly and is now believed to be infecting people who have no connection with southern Africa. The scientists are still learning about how easily Omicron is spread and how serious any cases may be.

"There are not currently any reports in the UK of people being hospitalised suffering from Omicron. Nevertheless, the Government’s view is that it is better to be cautious at this stage and slow the spread until more is known and the number of people with booster jabs has increased. Whilst it still doesn’t necessarily mean that you would be seriously ill if you catch this new strain, we are all being asked to do a little bit more to help slow the virus spreading."

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Martin Tett, leader of Bucks Council, is asking people to adhere to new Covid restrictions and to book up for the vaccines or booster jabs

Mr Tett went on to outline ‘Plan B’ which includes the following guidelines:

> From today (Friday 10 December) face coverings will be required by law in most indoor settings, including libraries and customer access centres.

> From Monday (13 December) office workers who can work from home should do so.

> From Wednesday (15 December) certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative lateral flow test in the last 48 hours, or have an exemption.

> The guidance does provide exceptions to where you need to wear a face covering; these include restaurants, cafés and canteens, bars, gyms and exercise facilities, and nightclubs. It is also not necessary to wear a face mask if you are attending a wedding or funeral.

> he guidance does provide exceptions to where you need to wear a face covering; these include restaurants, cafés and canteens, bars, gyms and exercise facilities, and nightclubs. Face coverings will be required at crematoria and places of worship so will be required at weddings and funerals in these places. Please look at the full list of where face coverings should now be worn.

Mr Tett added: "These changes won’t affect any council services although, as mentioned, you will be expected to wear a mask in our libraries and customer access centres.

"I would encourage you to check the new guidance which is on the Government’s website.

"Our best line of defence against Covid remains the vaccine including having the booster jab as soon as you can. Please make sure you take this up and please keep an eye out for the changes which should be available soon, which will offer boosters to all adults over 18 and who have had their previous vaccination at least three months ago. Please keep looking at the NHS website for details of when you will be able to book. Don’t forget too that you can book a first or second dose at any time. To do this, or to book your booster and find out more vaccine information check the NHS website.

Infection rate from all types of Covid has increased to 622.1 per 100,000 in Buckinghamshire, according to the council's latest figures. This is an increase of 10% compared to the previous week.

Increased rates have been reported in the former Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern and South Bucks District areas but a decline in the former Wycombe area. School age residents overall (5 to 18 years old) make up 39% of cases in Buckinghamshire. The highest case rates remain in those aged 5 to 15 years old. A decrease in infection rates among those aged 60 to 69 years compared to the week before (210.6 per 100,000 - down by 29 cases), has also been seen. This may well be due to the roll out of the booster vaccine to this age range.