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FAQ on COVID

Coronavirus germ

This content was last updated on 22 December 2021.

We continue to work with partners and agencies through Lancashire Resilience Forum, as well as the NHS and Public Health England to do everything we can to delay the spread of coronavirus in Preston.

Covid restrictions due to Plan B being implemented

  • From Monday 13 December, those who can will be advised to work from home
  • From Friday 10 December, the government will extend the legal requirement to wear a face mask to most public indoor venues, including theatres and cinemas. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising
  • From Wednesday 15 December, and subject to parliamentary approval, the NHS COVID Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather- including unseated indoor events with 500 attendees or more, unseated outdoor venues with 4,000 attendees or more, and any event with 10,000 attendees and more. Proof of two vaccine doses or a negative lateral flow test will be accepted
  • The government also intends to introduce daily contact tests for contacts of confirmed positive Omicron cases instead of the ten-day self-isolation period

What do I need to know?

Omicron variant

Temporary and precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant in the UK has come into force on Tuesday 30 November 2021, the government has confirmed.

From 4am Tuesday 30 November face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.

All travellers arriving into the country from 4am on Tuesday 30 November will be required to take a PCR test on or before day 2 and self isolate until they have received a negative test result. These PCR tests can be purchased from private providers. Free NHS tests are not valid for this purpose.

Self-isolation Update

From today (22 December), new guidance enables the 10-day self-isolation period for people who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) to be reduced to 7 days, in most cases.

People who receive negative LFD (Lateral Flow Device) results on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period with tests taken 24 hours apart, will no longer have to self-isolate for the full 10 days.

The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period.

Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 7 are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19.

There is no change to the guidance for unvaccinated contacts of positive COVID-19 cases, who are still required to self-isolate for 10 full days after their date of exposure to the virus.

This update aims to prevent the spread of the new variant and means all close contacts of anyone who has tested positive for the Omicron variant are required to isolate for 10 days regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.

Rules on face coverings are being updated in England

The public and staff in public facing areas will be required to wear face coverings in these settings from 4am on 30 November 2021:

  • shops and supermarkets (places that offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • auction houses
  • post offices, banks, building societies, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
  • estate and letting agents
  • premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (barbers, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios, nail salons and massage centres)
  • pharmacies
  • premises providing veterinary services
  • retail galleries
  • retail travel agents
  • takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises
  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams, buses, coaches and ferries), taxis and private hire vehicles
  • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • any car or small van during a professionally delivered driving lesson and practical driving test
  • during all HGV lessons and tests, during all professional driving lessons and formal driving tests, and during any practical test for giving driving instruction.

View our face coverings for businesses page for additional information and advice for employers and employees.   

Prevention

Unfortunately, COVID is still a serious health risk, and we all must continue to do what we can to help protect our communities.

There are easy ways to help stop the spread of COVID:

  • Keep your hands clean - washing them with soap for at least 20 seconds and/or regularly using sanitiser is an important way to keep yourself healthy.
  • Let fresh air in if you meet indoors (meeting outdoors is safer).
  • Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • If you have been identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID you must get a PCR test.
  • Get tested regularly and self-isolate if required.
  • If you haven't already, get vaccinated (and have the booster when you are eligible).

Symptoms

If you have any of the following symptoms you must book a PCR test and stay at home:

  • a high temperature
  • a continuous cough
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

For a comprehensive list of COVID-19 symptoms visit NHS - COVID-19.

Vaccinations

Vaccines remain the best way to protect ourselves and those around us from the virus. It is important that everyone gets vaccinated as soon as they are able and gets both doses of the vaccine.

Whilst some sites offer walk-in appointments, please note that this is subject to availability at each site on the day.

It is recommended to book your appointments as this helps with demand and capacity planning all round.

Book your vaccine via the NHS Website today

Walk-in vaccinations are available daily, so it is not too late to have yours done.

Vaccinations are now readily available for 12+.and the booster programme is well-underway.

For up-to-date information on vaccinations, including FAQs, please visit Covid vaccinations in Lancashire and South Cumbria, Health and Care Partnership.

Testing

From 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and will not be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

For more information visit GOV.UK - Confirmatory PCR tests to be temporarily suspended for positive lateral flow test results.

How can I report a Coronavirus concern?

If you are concerned about the implementation of COVID secure measures in a business, workplace or other public building please report this by using our online form:

Report a coronavirus concern

Can I still access help?

Help for vulnerable people is still available via Preston Together.

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