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Work From Home And More Masks Recommended

The CCA wants everyone who can work from home 'practically' to do so, in response to the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

Six cases of the variant have now been confirmed in the Bailiwick, all of which are in Guernsey. They have come from three separate 'introductions'.

Officials say this means there is 'the potential to see a large wave in the Bailiwick in the coming weeks'.

Princess Elizabeth Hospital is now preparing for a potential increase in Covid patients, but health officials don't expect to see the same rise in hospital admissions as they do in overall case numbers.

From today (14 December), contacts of cases of Omicron will follow the same requirements as those who are contacts of Delta cases.

It means double-jabbed islanders should carry out an LFT every day for 10 days and avoid places like care homes.

Those who have not been vaccinated against the virus will be issued with a 'stay at home' request to isolate for 10 days.

Regularly testing with Lateral Flows at home is still being recommended for the general community, alongside the acceleration of the booster vaccination programme.

The mask mandate is also being extended to places of worship, cinemas, theatres and concert venues. Only those who are performing are exempt.

Deputy Peter Ferbrache says the CCA is 'preparing for all scenarios'.

"This is still a very uncertain time as new data about Omicron comes in every day from around the world.

We are taking a cautious approach, but one that recognises we have a highly vaccinated community and are well placed to very quickly deliver boosters to all adults.

We are preparing for all scenarios, including the possibility that we’ll see a big wave in the next few weeks, potentially much bigger than the one we’re just getting over now.

But through boosting we can certainly reduce the numbers of cases that become very ill, and for that reason our hospital team still feel confident of their ability to manage."

Dr Nicola Brink is asking anyone who has not had a Covid vaccine to consider getting one.

“There is a lot still to learn about Omicron which means our best predictions right now may be wrong, but what we’re seeing is a virus that is much more transmissible and likely to soon become the dominant variant.

We will keep updating our own predictions based on the latest data as it arrives, but we could see our own Omicron wave very soon.

We have already very good cooperation from the community when it comes to wearing face coverings and taking Lateral Flow tests, but we must maintain that now more than ever.

And most of all, I am appealing to all of those who have not yet taken up the vaccine to do so and for everyone to get their booster, which is absolutely our best means of protection. We need to work together, as we have done over the past almost two years, to protect our community.”

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