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Chief Minister praises public for response and urges continued vigilance

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The National Covid Response Group met yesterday to further evaluate the Island's response to the Omicron variant.

Since the new measures came in at 4am Tuesday 30 November, the Island has seen a significant increase in the public taking responsibility by wearing face coverings on public transport and in public settings, and also through the increase in lateral flow tests (LFTs) being ordered.

More than 1,000 people have arrived following the implementation of the new border rules, with more than 80% having recorded LFT results, and nine new positive cases identified which otherwise may have been missed.

The latest data from the Public Health Surveillance Report shows that cases on the Island are increasing and are largely focused on younger age groups. The report also highlights that the south of the Island has become a hot spot for the virus and the public are asked to be extra vigilant and monitor any symptoms.

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK said:

‘I understand that the rise in cases over the past few days may cause some concern for the public, and this is something that we expected as we move in to winter. The National Covid Response Group is monitoring the ongoing situation and will continue to meet regularly to discuss any changes should they be necessary.

‘Government departments are working closely together to address the ongoing situation with the lab up at Noble’s now set up to identify any cases of the Omicron variant when it arrives on the Island. The vaccination team is also working incredibly hard to scale up the rollout and offer the booster to the thousands who are eligible.’

The Chief Minister added:

‘I want to thank the public for acting responsibly following the new rules that we have put in place. It is vitally important that we continue to work together to reduce the spread of this virus.'

People are encouraged to follow the new ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign, which focuses on encouraging individual responsibility for taking an LFD test before attending any Christmas gatherings or events, and also prior to visiting those who may be more susceptible to COVID-19.

The Economic Recovery Group (ERG) has also announced new and extended measures to support local businesses should the need arise.