Covid-19 Briefing: Friday December 17, 2021

Guide for companies published

The Scottish government has released new guidelines to help limit the rapid spread of the Omicron variant which went into effect from 00.01 today (Friday 17th December 2021).

Businesses will now be legally required to take reasonable steps to minimize the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19), including allowing work from home for those who are able to work from home. Masks should be worn in all businesses, and retail and hospitality businesses should consider reasonable measures to reduce overcrowding and manage queues.

Workplace testing is extensive, and companies with more than 10 employees are encouraged to sign up to receive free lateral flow test kits to ensure staff are able to test regularly.

The full announcement is available at: https://www.gov.scot/news/limiting-the-spread-of-omicron/

  • Guide to safer businesses and workplaces: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-general-guidance-for-safer-workplaces/ (this guide has been updated to reflect requirements for protective measures and homework).
  • Tourism and Hospitality Sector Guidance: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tourism-and-hospitality-sector-guidance/ (these guidelines have been updated to reflect the reinforcement of protective measures in reception establishments)
  • Workplace testing is available on the Find Business Support website: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/programmes/coronavirus-asymptomatique-workplace-testing-in-scotland

Tips for visiting nursing homes and hospitals

The Scottish Government has updated the advice and guidance for hospitals and nursing homes with additional measures to protect against covid.

Visitors to hospitals and adult care homes are advised to take an LFD test before each visit under the new guidelines Adult care homes and hospitals should continue to cover visits for residents and patients, but new recommendations state that visits must comply with the rules for the general public to control the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Under the new guidelines, no more than two households should meet a resident at any time inside the care home and residents are urged to avoid large gatherings when visiting friends and family. family outside the nursing home.

Staff tests are taken daily and all visitors must test before each visit. As before, named visitors can still be assisted to visit residents of nursing homes with a controlled outbreak of COVID-19 if the local health protection team has agreed that this may happen. Essential visits in circumstances such as distress or end of life should be supported with compassion and generosity at all times.

Hospital visits should continue to be a priority, with appropriate precautions and protections. This includes asking all visitors to use an LFD test before their visit, and not returning more than two people to one patient at a time, in wards where there is no epidemic. active in progress. When an active outbreak is managed, hospitals should only allow essential visits.

Orientation towards retirement homes:

The updated nursing home visiting guidelines released on December 15 are available here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-adult-care-homes-visiting-guidance/

Updated advice on hospital visits is available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-hospital-visiting-guidance/

Pregnant women advised to be vaccinated against COVID-19

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) calls on all pregnant women to get vaccinated as soon as possible. JCVI points out that there is growing evidence showing that pregnant women are at increased risk of serious consequences from coronavirus (COVID-19) and, therefore, they should be considered a clinical risk group in the program. COVID-19 vaccination program. Since the majority of pregnant women who have been admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19 are not vaccinated, the main priority is to increase the number of pregnant women who complete their primary cycle (2 doses of vaccine to 8 weeks apart). Find out how to get vaccinated at nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccinepregnancy

NHS Scotland also produced a short video presented by Jaki Lambert, Professional Midwifery and Perinatal Care Advisor, Scottish Government: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdMrd1Jw1s0&t=1s

Deployment of the booster vaccine – 18-29 years old

The online portal for the COVID-19 recall program is now open to 18-29 year olds. The NHS Inform website has a lot of information about the vaccination itself and you can, if you are eligible, make an appointment: https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/roll-up-your-sleeves

The Covid vaccine as a priority before the flu

The Scottish government has announced that COVID-19 booster shots will be given priority over the rest of the flu shot schedule to speed up vaccination times and allow for more appointments. The NHS Inform website has a lot of information about the Covid vaccination itself and you can, if you are eligible, make an appointment: https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/roll-up-your-sleeves

Covid helpline available

Residents of Inverclyde continue to be supported by the Council’s Covid-19 helpline. Assistance can be provided through a wide range of media, including the provision of food and fuel, financial counseling, and welfare. The helpline is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the holiday season. Call 01475 715275 to speak to an advisor.

11 countries removed from the red list of international travel

Eleven countries have been taken off the international travel red list as Omicron cases increase globally. Pre-departure tests and PCR test measurements by day 2 on arrival in Scotland at the latest will remain in place, with a review of all travel measurements in the new year. The countries and territories of the red list withdrawn from Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at 4 a.m. are: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Africa of the South, Zambia and Zimbabwe. As Omicron cases increase in Scotland and countries around the world, restrictions on specific countries on the travel redlist are no longer as effective as they used to be in slowing Omicron’s incursion since abroad.

For more information: https://www.gov.scot/news/11-countries-removed-from-international-travel-red-list/

Armed forces support vaccine deployment

An additional 100 members of the armed forces are deployed to support the vaccination program in Scotland, bringing the total deployment to 221. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-100-armed-forces-personnel- to-support -scotlands-vaccine-deployment

G7 leaders: “deeply concerned” by the Omicron variant

G7 health ministers issued a joint statement stressing that the increase in Omicron cases should be seen as “the current greatest threat to global public health” and reiterating the importance of ever closer cooperation between nations, including data sharing. They also reiterated their support for COVAX, their commitment to the global vaccine deployment effort and their support for the accelerated development of vaccines, therapies and diagnostics in the event of a pandemic. This was the last meeting of the UK Presidency of the G7.

Public inquiry into the Covid

The mandate and chair of the public inquiry into the management of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland has been announced. In a statement to Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney confirmed that the Hon. Lady Poole QC, a senator from the Scottish Justice College, will chair the inquiry.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also announced the chairmanship of the UK pandemic inquiry. The Right Honorable Baroness Heather Hallett DBE has been appointed chair of the upcoming public inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic. The investigation will play a key role in examining the UK’s response to the pandemic.

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