Gateshead's director of public health urges communities to maintain caution to tackle pandemic

Gateshead's director of public health, Alice Wiseman says communities need to maintain a level of caution in order to keep everyone safe and overcome the latest challenge in the fight to overcome the pandemic.

It follows new laws that came into force in the north east today making face coverings mandatory in most indoor spaces unless you are exempt.

Indoor spaces which will require face covering from today include:

  • Cinemas

  • Theatres

  • Churches

  • Museums

  • Galleries

  • Community centres

Public health leaders are therefore urging communities to step up to help protect each other and the NHS as restrictions are reintroduced in the region.

The Government has announced it will implement its Plan B winter response, based on the evidence and knowledge they currently have of the Omicron variant.

Due to early signs of its rapid growth rate, there is concern it will become the dominant strain of the virus across the country.

Office workers are therefore being advised to work from home from Monday as cases of the Omicron variant continue to rise. Those attending certain venues, such as nightclubs and sporting events will also be expected to show proof of a full vaccination status or a negative test in the last 48 hours.

Alice Wiseman, Director of Public Health for Gateshead says it's now more important than ever that people make the right decisions to protect themselves and those around them.

In a statement, the LA7 Directors of Public Health explained, "We always knew there was a risk of new variants emerging which would require a change in direction to keep people safe, and we have no doubt that people right across our region will recognise the need to take Omicron seriously."

People wearing face masks Credit: PA

Their advice is that people in the North East should continue giving each other space, washing their hands regularly, keeping indoor spaces ventilated, getting tested and self isolated when necessary.

In a message to those who are yet to be vaccinated, or are overdue a second or third dose, the directors of public health said:

There is also a call for those who are eligible for a booster vaccination, and have been contacted by the NHS to come forward.