COVID-19 update - 23 December 2021

The discovery of the Omicron variant led the government to recently announce a new vaccination challenge. The Prime Minister set out a commitment that all adults in England would be offered a booster jab by the end of the year. However, even with the additional protection that vaccine boosters will give, the threat from Omicron remains serious.

To keep yourself, loved ones and people across Newcastle safe right now please consider the following measures:

  • Get vaccinated. It’s not too late and you can still book a first or second dose as well as a booster.
  • Wear a face covering. These are required by law in most indoor settings, including healthcare and on public transport. Where a face covering is not legally required, the government advises wearing one in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.
  • People who can work from home should do so. Consider regular testing if you have to go into a workplace.
  • A COVID pass or negative lateral flow test is needed for entry into clubs and some other venues.

Get a COVID pass at Information about lateral flow tests at

How to get your COVID-19 vaccine

Staff and volunteers are working hard to offer as many people as possible a booster vaccination and this is a fast-moving situation due to the Omicron variant. If you're 16 or over you can:

  • Book COVID-19 vaccination appointments online. Children aged 12 to 15 years old can also book a first dose.
  • Find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site to get vaccinated without an appointment (walk-in clinics have been very busy recently so please book an advance appointment if you can).
  • Wait to be contacted by your GP surgery and book appointments with them.

A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available for everyone aged 18 and over, and some people aged 16 and over, who have had two doses of the vaccine at least three months ago.

Check eligibility and book appointments online at If you don’t have online access you can call 119 free of charge. You can speak to a translator if you need to.

Find out where the next walk-in vaccination clinics take place in Newcastle at

Can you help?

Volunteers are needed to help with the vaccination programme locally.

NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG needs volunteer support at three community sites — Benwell, Lemington and the Molineux Centre. Volunteers are recruited via the national NHS system at

If you have COVID-19 symptoms

Take a PCR test by booking online at or calling 119 between 7am and 11pm and self-isolate until you get your results.

Self-isolating in England

You must self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you are unvaccinated and have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are legally required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.

Read the latest guidance on self-isolation at

Find out about the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme at

Read the latest COVID-19 updates at