Ten coronavirus steps you will still need to take during New Year’s Eve


While the country is not in a coronavirus lockdown as it was this time last year, there is still plenty to keep in mind before heading out on the town this New Year’s Eve

Group of beautiful young people in Santa hats throwing colorful confetti and looking happy
Have fun, but stay safe

Brits looking to have a mad one on Friday evening still have plenty to keep in mind as the threat of coronavirus remains.

Yesterday the Government announced that no additional restrictions would be introduced before the end of the year..

The move was welcomed by the beleaguered hospitality sector and those looking to let off some steam come December 31.

Although the protection offered by the vaccine has allowed bars, clubs and pubs to stay open without the NHS being overwhelmed, the state of play is not as it was before Covid-19 emerged.

The Government has published a series of advice Brits may be wise to heed ahead of New Year’s Eve.

Stay in if you’re infected

You can do your bit this New Year’s Eve
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Anyone with Covid symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately.

If you have symptoms, you should arrange to take a PCR as soon as possible, even if you’ve had one or more doses of the vaccine.

You should self-isolate until you get your results back.

The most common symptoms of Covid-19 remain:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

You must self-isolate from the day your symptoms started and the next 10 full days, or from the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms and the next 10 full days.

If you test negative on your sixth and seven day, you can leave isolation early.

Isolate if you live with an infected person in certain circumstances

If you have come into contact with someone with Covid, or live with them, you do not have to isolate if you’ve had the jab, are younger than 18 years and six months old, or are medically exempt from the vaccine.

In those cases, you should take a lateral flow every day for seven days.

If you do not fit any of the criteria above, then you must self-isolate.

Get vaccinated

Getting vaccinated should be a priority for those who haven’t been jabbed
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All adults in England have now been offered at least two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and most have been urged to get a booster jab.

Those who have been jabbed twice or three times are much, much less likely to need hospital care for Covid or die from the disease.

Getting vaccinated protects you and it protects the NHS.

“To maintain this high level of protection through the coming winter, you should also get a booster vaccine for Covid-19 when offered,” the Government write.

“Winter is a difficult time when our immunity is weaker. Getting the booster vaccine is an essential part of ensuring immune defence this season.”

Be smart about where you meet

Due to the precipitous spread of Omicron, NHS staff are having to work incredibly hard to care for everyone this festive period.

One way you can help ease the burden on the health service is to try and avoid getting coronavirus by making a few simple steps.

These include meeting outdoors when possible, or ensuring indoor spaces are as well ventilated as possible.

“When a person infected with Covid-19 coughs, talks or breathes, they release droplets and aerosols which can be breathed in by another person,” government advice reads.

“Meeting outdoors vastly reduces the risk of airborne transmission, but this may not always be possible.

“If you’re indoors, you should let fresh air in to reduce the risk of catching or spreading Covid-19.”

Wear a face covering

Face coverings help reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus
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Masking up reduces the chance of transmitting the coronavirus.

From 10 December, face coverings have been required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport, including taxis.

There are some exemptions. You do not have to wear a face covering in hospitality settings such as cafés, restaurants and pubs.

You do not need to wear a face covering in nightclubs or certain other night-time venues like clubs and music venues.

Work from home if you can

While it is no one’s dream to spend New Year’s Eve working, many Brits will have to do just that.

Office workers who can work from home should do so.

Show your Covid pass

Despite the best efforts of a group of back-bench Tory MPs, as of December 15 showing a Covid pass has been a requirement to enter certain venues.

By law, everyone aged 18 or over entering venues including bars and most football grounds must show proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated, of a negative test in the past 48 hours or that they’re exempt.

This can come in the form of the NHS app, NHS website or a letter that can be obtained by going to NHS.uk or calling 119.

You don’t want to be stuck outside in the cold come New Year’s Eve.

Test regularly and before going out

Not everyone who has Covid have any symptoms
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Screaming the words of Auld Lang Syne and throatily kissing strangers may be a great way to see in 2022, but it’s also a strong tactic for catching Covid.

Around 1 in 3 people with the disease do not have any symptoms, meaning they could be spreading the virus without knowing it.

To avoid being that person, take a test before heading into crowded spaces or seeing older or vulnerable friends and family.

Stay home if you feel unwell

Although most of the world’s attention has been focused on Covid-19 over the past two years, other viruses and bacterial infections have continued to make people sick.

If you’re feeling unwell and are testing negative for coronavirus, staying away from the party this NYE may be a move welcomed by burdened NHS staff.

Keep up your hygiene standards

As much as we all want to spend December 31 in an reckless, drunken stupor, hygiene standards remain important.

Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day.

Regular hand washing is an effective way to reduce your risk of catching illnesses, including Covid.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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