1. Back to basics – the measures we have become so familiar with are really important in slowing down the spread of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant, so please:
- Keep having your COVID-19 vaccinations and booster jabs when invited
- Keep washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or hand sanitiser
- Keep wearing face coverings on public transport and in crowded and enclosed places such as shops, unless you’re exempt
- Keep letting fresh air in if you meet indoors (meeting outdoors is safer)
- Keep wiping down surfaces (handles, doors etc)
- Keep having a PCR test if you have COVID-19 symptoms, and self-isolating if required
- Stay at home if unwell, to reduce the risk of passing on other illnesses onto friends, family, colleagues, and others in your community
- Download the NHS COVID-19 app. Keep your Bluetooth and contact tracing on to stay informed in case you come into contact with a positive case.
2. COVID-19 vaccination booster
- If you are already vaccinated, boosters increase your protection against COVID-19 and help prevent severe illness and death
- A booster gives you a higher level of protection than you had after your second dose
- Anyone who had their second dose over six months ago can have a booster now. Visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119
- There are also local walk-in clinics where you don’t need an appointment. Visit manchester.gov.uk/getmyjab for more info, or call the Manchester Gateway for free on 0800 092 4020 or 0161 947 0770 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am–6pm, excluding bank holidays). The Gateway can also book a free taxi if you need help getting to your vaccination appointment
- If you haven’t had your first or second vaccination yet, it is never too late. You can use the websites and phone numbers above to book or find out more
- The vaccination of housebound people in Manchester is underway. Housebound people who have not yet had their vaccination should contact their GP. Carers of someone who is housebound and has not yet had their vaccination can call the GP on their behalf
- Most people will have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for their COVID-19 booster jab. Research has shown these vaccines are very effective as a booster even if a different vaccine was given as the first and second dose.
3. Rapid lateral flow tests when you don’t have symptoms Please continue to use rapid lateral flow tests before:
- Entering crowded or enclosed spaces
- Going to places that have limited fresh air
- Meeting people at higher risk of severe illness. continued…
You can still get rapid lateral flow test kits from a local pharmacy or library. Go to manchester.gov.uk/coronavirus for details. You can also order a test kit online: gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or call 119 for free to get a test kit for home delivery.
If you are a parent or carer of a secondary school child, please also support them with any additional testing that might be organised through school.
4. Help and support services
- Manchester COVID-19 Helpline – Call free on 0800 234 6123, or text 07890 036 892. This service is for anyone with COVID-19 questions. It can also help with booking vaccination or testing appointments, and answering questions on when to self-isolate. Advice is provided by a nursing team seven days a week, 9am–5pm, and a translation service is available
- Support is also available from Manchester’s Community Response Hub, open Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm. Freephone 0800 234 6123, text 078600 22876, email COVIDSupport@manchester.gov.uk for support with managing fuel top-up payments, access to food, delivery of medication and combating loneliness
- Support to self-isolate – There is a lot of help and support if you do test positive. If you’re on a low income and you’re asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you may be able to get a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. For more information visit manchester.gov.uk/selfisolationpaymentscheme