BUSINESSES and residents are being urged to enjoy but plan Covid safe Christmas get-togethers.

With Covid rates still high across the county, Somerset County Council’s public health leaders are reminding everyone to think about how they can enjoy the festivities and take measures to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

Anyone can still catch and spread the virus, even if they are fully vaccinated and without symptoms.

With Christmas staff parties planned, it’s vital that business leaders take precautions to keep staff safe and review their business contingency plans in case anyone becomes infected and need to take time off work to self-isolate.

To reduce spread, businesses should consider meeting in smaller groups, rather than holding large events, and meeting outdoors is preferable to prevent spread.

If events are held indoors, organisers should choose well-ventilated venues, where windows and doors can be opened to allow fresh air in.

People are being encouraged to do a Rapid Lateral Flow Test before events to ensure they are not spreading the virus before seeing friends, family and colleagues.

If you test positive, self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test. Up to one in three people with Covid don’t have symptoms but can still infect others, so it’s important everyone tests to prevent spread.

Professor Trudi Grant, director of public health for Somerset County Council, said: “When thinking about your Christmas parties, an important thing to consider is how enclosed the venue is.

"Venues should be well-ventilated with fresh air circulating, and people should do an LFT test before attending, to ensure they are not going to spread the virus to others without knowing it.

“Businesses should also think carefully about their contingency plans, should their staff become infected with Covid and need to take time off work to self-isolate. It is worth thinking about whether a business can continue to operate with a reduced workforce over the Christmas period.

“Finally, when you are invited, step forward for your vaccination – be it the first, second or booster jab. The vaccination remains the best form of defence that we have against the virus.”

To order your lateral flow tests, call 119, order a test online at or collect them at a local pharmacy with a collection code (