Headlines: Liverpool health bosses issue urgent advice with ‘third of Covid cases now Omicron’

WATCH: Your latest news update for Liverpool on Monday, 20 December.

🦠 The Liverpool Health Protection Board, which oversees the city's response to the pandemic, has issued a statement saying;

"The new Covid variant “Omicron” is now increasing rapidly and is a very serious threat in Liverpool and across the rest of the UK.

“The rate of Covid infection from Delta variant was already high in Liverpool, and we are now seeing a second epidemic of Omicron variant on top of this.

“The Omicron variant is spreading at an extraordinary rate – faster than what we have seen before and is causing local outbreaks in our communities and disruption to health and care services and to the wider economy.

“The Omicron variant rate is doubling in less than two days in the North West, and almost a third of Covid cases are now Omicron variant. Therefore, the reality is that we are highly likely to be facing a record peak of cases in a few weeks.”

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Public Health boss gives advice

😷 Liverpool's director of public health, Matt Ashton, says even if you've had the booster vaccine, you should also take other simple precautions this Christmas to keep those you care about safe.

This includes getting tested regularly, wearing a face-covering when out and about and keeping windows open for ventilation if you're in someone else's home.

All of this especially applies if you visit elderly relatives or people with underlying health conditions, as all the evidence from COVID-19 shows that they are the most vulnerable.

If you are a contact of a positive case of COVID and are double vaccinated, you now don’t need to self isolate, but take daily lateral flow tests instead.

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Festive police operation

🚓 Operation Shepherd is Merseyside Police's annual campaign to reduce crime and keep communities safe during the festive season.

More officers will be out and about on the run-up to Christmas and into New Year to ensure residents and visitors can enjoy our city safely.