Christmas shoppers urged to take a covid test before visiting busy high streets

New Government advice aimed at preventing a fourth wave of coronavirus urges people to get tested before they spend time in crowded and enclosed spaces this winter.

It’s the first time the public have been advised to take a lateral flow test before going to busy or high-risk locations.

Previously the guidance was to take two tests a week, or to get tested after visiting crowded spaces, or before meeting vulnerable individuals.

While the latest Cabinet Office guidance, first reported by the i Paper, doesn’t mention Christmas shopping specifically, it would seem to cover venues such as busy high streets, markets and shopping centres.

READ MORE: Greater Manchester’s latest coronavirus infection rates as more than 10,000 people test positive in the last week

It states: “You are at higher risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 in crowded and enclosed spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious and where there is limited fresh air.

“You may wish to take a rapid lateral flow test if it is expected that there will be a period of high risk that day. This includes spending time in crowded and enclosed spaces, or before visiting people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19.”

The Government is hopeful that, despite the fresh wave of coronavirus sweeping across Europe, the UK is well-placed to avoid another spike in cases.

It hopes the roll-out of booster vaccines will mean Plan B restrictions – with measures including face mask wearing and working from home – will not have to be implemented.

On Monday Boris Johnson has said the Government currently sees no need to introduce fresh Covid-19 restrictions.

Speaking at the CBI conference in South Shields, the Prime Minister said: “Of course we are concerned about the potential from that disease.

“You have got to be humble in the face of nature but at the moment we see nothing in the data to say that we need to move from plan A to plan B, or any other plan.

“The best single thing you can all do is get your booster. When you are called forward to get it, please do so.”

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