THE Welsh Ambulance Service is urging people across Wales to exercise caution this New Year’s Eve and heed the latest Welsh Government guidelines on gatherings and mixing households.

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is predicted to rise quickly with potential to hit families and healthcare services in Wales "hard".

Anyone heading out to celebrate with family and friends on Friday night is urged to take in the guidance - ‘Flow before you go’. People should perform a Lateral Flow Test and remember the new enforceable rules on a maximum of 30 people indoors and 50 outdoors for gatherings.

Lee Brooks, Director of Operations for the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “We hope everybody had a safe and enjoyable Christmas and got to spend some precious time with their loved ones. But now it is time to focus on the future and the health of the nation whilst protecting our vital healthcare services and those who work in it at this time of unprecedented pressure.

“Omicron is a real threat, and easily transmissible, so it is important to put yourself in the best position possible to avoid infection by practicing good hand hygiene, taking regular Lateral Flow Tests, avoiding unnecessary social contact and always wearing a face covering in shared spaces.

“Also, your best line of defence against serious illness is to ensure that you and your family are all fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have received your booster jab wherever possible.”

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Mr Brooks asks that callers to 999 show respect to all emergency staff.

He added: “With around eight attacks on emergency workers in Wales occurring daily, we would ask the public to work with us, not against us and treat our staff with respect.

“We understand it is frustrating if you have to wait for emergency care, but remember our staff are normal people trying to do their job and do not deserve to be assaulted or abused in any way.

“Consuming alcohol only in moderation, eating before you drink, having transport home arranged and avoiding high risk activities such as fireworks are all sensible ways to safeguard yourself and our emergency and healthcare services this New Year.

“We wish everybody an enjoyable evening and health in the year ahead.”

Full details of the latest Government guidelines regarding Covid-19 can be found here.