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Omicron variant of “huge concern” stress Council Leaders

Posted: 17th December 2021

Leaders of the City of Edinburgh Council have urged residents to be extra vigilant and follow the guidance in place to help minimise the impact of the Omicron Covid variant.

Speaking at a meeting of full Council today (Thursday, 16 December), Leader Adam McVey appealed to the public to test regularly, minimise social contacts and stay at home as much as possible in the lead-up to Christmas. He also stressed the importance of getting vaccinated, and highlighted the efforts being made to facilitate vaccinations, including at the soon to be opened Edinburgh International Conference Centre mass vaccination centre.

He said:

With cases of the Omicron variant now doubling every two or three days this is an area of huge concern, both for public health officials and ourselves as policy makers. I can’t stress enough the importance of following the rules around hand-washing, mask-wearing and ventilation and testing – visit our website for details of community testing sites or to order a home testing kit.

Perhaps most importantly, getting vaccinated is probably our biggest weapon against serious illness and hospitalisation and I would urge everyone to make their appointment for first, second and booster vaccinations as quickly as possible. We’re working really hard with partners to maximise capacity for administering vaccinations, and this has included keeping the Royal Highland Centre open for appointments and reopening the Edinburgh International Conference Centre for vaccinations as soon as next week. Please visit the NHS website for more information and to book your appointment.

As we approach Christmas, I also want to echo the First Minister’s advice to stay at home as much as possible – more than we normally would at this time of year – and minimise contacts. I know this is hard to do but we have it in our power to minimise the impact of this virus by reducing the chance for it to spread.

Depute Leader Cammy Day added:

We face a rapidly evolving situation and we’re constantly monitoring the guidance with regard to our own buildings and services and also to provide guidance and support to businesses across the city to continue to operate safely. As well as having to adapt to the latest guidance, this is an extremely uncertain time and a particular concern for our local businesses and I’d like to take the opportunity to encourage everyone to shop local wherever possible.

As soon as details of national support for business schemes are confirmed our teams are ready to help administer this too, as we have done throughout the pandemic.

We’ll do all we can to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum but there’s every chance that we’ll have to make changes over the coming weeks. We’re planning ahead and liaising with partners to make sure we’re prepared. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for further information and service updates.

Community test centres and mobile test centres are open for people with no Covid symptoms. Full details of these, and how to order home lateral flow testing kits, are available online.

Book a vaccination on the NHS website.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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