'Hands, face, space' slogan to be hammered home as cases rise before winter
A new campaign urging people to make sure they wash their hands, use a mask and maintain social distancing is being launched in a bid to keep infections down as winter approaches.
The Government’s ‘Hands Face Space’ advertising drive will stress that these are the three most effective ways of preventing the spread of coronavirus.
It comes after the UK registered its highest number of daily deaths since May yesterday, with experts voicing concerns that people are becoming ‘relaxed’ when it comes to adhering to guidance.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also warned of a potential second peak as he told the Commons that Covid-19 is ‘still a threat’.
The advert highlights how the virus spreads in indoor setting – which is particularly pertinent in the lead-up to winter.
England’s chief medical officer professor Chris Whitty said: ‘As we approach winter and inevitably spend more time indoors, we need the public to keep following this important advice to control the spread of the virus.
‘”Hands. Face. Space” emphasises important elements of the guidance we want everybody to remember: wash your hands regularly, use a face covering when social distancing is not possible and try to keep your distance from those not in your household.
‘Following these simple steps could make a significant difference in reducing the transmission of Covid-19 and help protect you and your friends, colleagues and family from the virus.’
The campaign highlights how the virus can live for more than 24 hours in indoor environments, and that it is not likely to survive for long periods of time on outdoor surfaces in sunlight.
It will remind people that regularly washing your hands and using sanitiser can reduce your risk of catching it and passing it on.
The ads will also demonstrate how a person’s respiratory droplets spread, as well as how that dispersal can be reduced by wearing a mask.
People will also be reminded how maintaining social distancing hampers transmission of the virus.
Professor Catherine Noakes, member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) – who specialises in airborne infections, said: ‘Coronavirus is emitted in tiny droplets when we breathe, talk, laugh or cough. Other people can be exposed to these when they are close to someone with the virus or they are in a poorly ventilated room for a long time.
‘Wearing a face covering prevents most of these droplets from being released into the air, and can also reduce the number of droplets that you are exposed to.
‘That is why wearing a face covering serves as a vital first line of defence against catching and spreading the virus, along with regular and thorough hand-washing with soap and water and maintaining a safe distance wherever possible.’
The campaign reminds people to ensure they get advice and a free test if they have any of the main coronavirus symptoms – a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss or change in their sense of smell of taste.
A Cambridge professor has suggested two extra pieces of guidance.
Dr Shaun Fitzgerald FREng, Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge, said: ‘My two extra ones are number one, don’t talk loudly; and crucially number two, open a window.
‘This last one is very important because we haven’t really had to think about that in warm weather as we will have wanted to get air into our space to keep cool.
‘Now that we enter colder weather, it will be something we will need to think about more proactively.’
People can access a free test by visiting nhs.uk or calling 119.
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