I also want to thank everyone who has received their booster vaccine, and those healthcare workers and volunteers who are working so hard to deliver them to us. You are all keeping your families and communities safe, our children educated, our businesses open and trading, and ensuring we can face the Omicron variant head on whilst protecting our hard-won freedoms.
Last Christmas was very tough for so many of us, with many people separated from loved ones. This year is much better, but please do take a lateral flow test before seeing your friends and family, so you know you are not spreading covid.
I know so many of you are worried about the Omicron variant, and we are still waiting for more data before we know its impact on us, but new data we already have from the UK Health and Safety Agency shows boosters could offer up to 75% protection against infection from Omicron. The UK’s booster rollout is the fastest in Europe as we race to protect everyone, so please do book in if you have not received yours.
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who has and is working so hard to make our Christmas merry and bright, in particular emergency service workers, hospitality teams, highways personnel and anyone who is on shift during the Christmas period: thank you for all you do, all year round but especially at this time of year.