Catherine McGuinness on the Lord Mayor’s Show, booster jabs and the City’s vibrancy

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We hope you this letter finds you safe and well.  

The Lord Mayor’s Show 

Firstly, we wish to share the good news that The Lord Mayor’s Show returns this year.

The event will offer spectators the chance to see a wonderful procession of more than 6,500 people, 120 horses and more than 50 floats. Alderman Vincent Keaveny has been elected the 693rd Lord Mayor of the City of London and will take office on Friday. He will wave off the procession from the balcony of The Mansion House. For more information visit lordmayorsshow.london.

We are encouraging spectators to ensure they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and take a COVID-19 rapid test the day before attending. Please also remember to wear a face covering on public transport. 

Since mid-July almost nine out of 10 of those with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care units in north-east London hospitals were not fully vaccinated. The vaccines significantly reduce COVID-19 infections as well as severe, life-threatening disease requiring hospitalisation.

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COVID-19 booster and flu vaccines

As many readers will know, the number of cases in London is rising. But the COVID-19 booster programme can make a real difference. Boosters are available to those 50 years old or older, people who work in health or social care or younger people who have a long-term health condition. The jab boosts immunity for those most at risk over the winter period. 

More than 10 million people in the UK have already received their COVID-19 booster vaccine. You can now book online a month before your booster jab is due at NHS.uk/covidvaccine or visit various walk-in sites across London. 

Flu is another virus that can be serious. To give people the best protection over winter, those over 50 years old, and people who have a long-term health condition or are pregnant are eligible for a free flu vaccine and should book an appointment at either their GP practice or their local pharmacy.  

The offer of a first and second COVID-19 vaccine remains open to anyone who is eligible, including children aged 12 to 15 years old. 

If we all continue to play our part, we will be that bit closer to a future that is more familiar.

Book a COVID-19 vaccine

There is a community pharmacy vaccination site at Boots, 120 Fleet Street, offering the Moderna vaccine. It is the Square Mile’s first, dedicated vaccination site. All those aged over 18 years old or within three months of their 18th birthday, can book an appointment via the national booking service. Visit NHS.uk/covidvaccine for more information.

All COVID vaccines are available free of charge from the NHS.  Everyone who is 12 years old or older can be vaccinated regardless of whether they are registered with a GP or their immigration status. 

The vaccines have been through rigorous clinical trials, tested on hundreds of thousands of people here in the UK and worldwide, and have been approved by the British Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Getting your vaccine as soon as possible is vitally important to protect you, your family, and those you care for. 

For those aged 18 years or older, the interval between the first and second dose is now eight weeks so don’t delay. 

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Self-isolation

If you have any symptoms of COVID it is vital that you immediately take a PCR test and, if it is positive, you must self-isolate for ten days.  

All those who have received both doses of the COVID vaccine, at least 14 days ago, or those who are under 18 years old no longer need to self-isolate if they come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID. Instead, they are advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to make sure they are not infected themselves. If they do test positive they must isolate for ten days.

Testing 

As we approach the Christmas period, more events – such as the Lord Mayor’s Show – will take place and many workers will look forward to office parties. So, it is even more important that everyone continues to take a rapid test twice a week so we can quickly identify new cases and help people to self-isolate. 

Remember: should you have any signs or symptoms of a COVID infection then you must get a PCR test. If you test positive you must isolate for 10 days regardless of whether you have been vaccinated. The City of London hosts test sites for those with and without symptoms. Further information is available here.

Free home testing kits for anyone without symptoms are available to collect from our testing sites at 65a Basinghall and Aldermanbury or from pharmacies across the Square Mile and Hackney. 

Support

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or live with someone who has tested positive, and you are not fully vaccinated, extra support is available to help you self-isolate.

This includes care packages (tests, PPE, guidance, and hand sanitiser), support calls, free accommodation, and isolation food support.

For more information you can call the COVID Helpline on 020 8356 3111 and select option 3. 

If you test positive but you are not able to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating, you may be eligible for a £500 payment. You can call the City Corporation on 020 7332 3937 to find out more.

If you cannot arrange for food, medication, and other essential items to be delivered while you and your household self-isolate, please let the City Corporation know. You can do this by emailing [email protected], or by calling 020 7606 3030.

You can also call City Advice for help with food, benefits advice, and debt on 020 7392 2919, or email them at [email protected]

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Square Mile vibrancy

It is great to see the Square Mile buzzing again. Anybody who walks around the Square Mile will have seen more people out and about in recent weeks and this trend is set to continue as we approach Christmas. 

All businesses in the City can have a free assessment by our environmental health officers to ensure they are COVID secure. For further information email M&[email protected].

In the medium term, our Recovery Taskforce is focused on the future of the City and how we ensure the Square Mile is the world’s most innovative, inclusive, and sustainable business eco-system.

We would like to thank all residents and workers in the Square Mile and encourage you to be patient as we continue to help the City return to its usual vibrancy safely.

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