South Oxfordshire has the third-highest Covid rate in the whole of England.

As of yesterday, the local authority area had 1,247 cases - up by 24 per cent from last week.

In the seven-day period, up to last Thursday, it had a case rate of 867.3 per 100,000 people - higher than England's average of 510.4 per 100,000 people.

The Vale of White Horse local authority had the eighth highest rate in the country, with 786 cases per 100,000 and 1084 cases recorded in the last week.

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The new Plan B measures have been implemented this week in hopes they help to tackle the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in England.

These measures include mandatory face coverings indoors until at least January 5; vaccine passports will be needed to gain entry to nightclubs and large events from today; and work from home has been advised.

In an announcement las weekend, the Prime Minister said that every adult over 18 in England who has had a second dose of a vaccine at least three months ago will be able to have their booster starting this week.

The NHS booking system will be open for those under the age of 30 from today, but “in some cases you can walk in” the Prime Minister said.

The Kassam Stadium, in Oxford, used to offer walk-in vaccination opportunities, but on Tuesday, the Oxfordshire CCG website published that this venue was no longer offering the service.

On the same day, big queues of people waiting to get their booster jabs were reported outside Exeter Hall in Kidlington.

The tighter measures make some local businesses feel uncertainty about their future.

Hugh Collins, co-founder of Five Little Pigs in Wallingford, feels slightly worried of what next year will bring.

The restaurant has seen some bookings being cancelled, but New Year’s dinners are fully booked.

He said: “We are trying to do the best that we can for as long as we can. I feel we are lucky because being small and independent allows us to be flexible and adjust as needed.

“We are cautiously optimistic and slightly worried about what January might bring.”

Sue Wiper of Abbey Cinema is disappointed with the new rules and fears people will become even more apprehensive about going out to the cinema.

She said: “We were all thinking, great we are going to have a fabulous Christmas, what could possibly go wrong, and then boom.

“We feel really disappointed. On the other hand, we want people to be safe. The good thing is we are used to it now, so it has been easy to turn it around."


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