Herts public health chiefs advise face coverings in any enclosed space

Face coverings being made mandatory in shops has come “too late”, readers fear. Picture: Victoria Pe

Public Health are advising Herts residents to wear face coverings in enclosed or crowded space - Credit: Archant

Public health bosses are advising Hertfordshire residents to wear face coverings in any enclosed or crowded space, as part of a package of measures designed to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Last week, a new variant of the COVID-19 virus – Omicron – was detected.

At the weekend Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined plans for the wearing of face coverings to be mandatory again, in shops and on public transport.

So far, there have been no confirmed cases of the new Omicron variant in Hertfordshire.

But public health chiefs in Hertfordshire are already working with retail outlets, schools and employers across the county to ensure they know the steps they should take, following the emergence of Omicron.

They are encouraging residents to take steps to halt the spread of the virus – including vaccination.

In addition to the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport, they are also calling for them to be worn in any enclosed or crowded space.

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A statement issued by Hertfordshire County Council said: “Following the changes announced over the weekend, we are advising Hertfordshire’s residents to continue to take steps to protect themselves and others, and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“These include getting vaccinated, wearing a face covering, opening doors and windows to let in fresh air, regularly testing for COVID-19 and self-isolating if you have symptoms or test positive.

“We are also continuing to work to advise retail, schools and employers to ensure they know what measures they need to take on Omicron.”

Latest data shows that in the seven days to November 23 there were 6160 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the county – equivalent to a case rate of 515.2 cases per 100k of population.

The data also shows that across Hertfordshire there are 71 people with COVID-19 in hospital.

The Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa, and following the emergence of the variant in the UK all adults are now being offered boosters. The NHS will call people in priority order, depending on how recently they were vaccinated.

People arriving in the UK will have to take a PCR test and self-isolate until they test negative.