“Remain vigilant” are the UK
Government’s stay safe watchwords as autumn and winter approach. Together we
can all continue to take key steps to contain coronavirus. Our behaviour can
reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves, friends and family as
well as vital NHS services as the days become colder and nights darker.
As we move into colder months,
increased infection rates are expected due to people mixing more freely as they
return to work and education as well as socialising more indoors, where most
coronavirus infections are spread.
COVID-19’s main transmission is
airborne virus particles. As we now spend more time together inside, dangers of
breathing in infectious particles increase significantly.
While vaccines and the COVID-19
booster vaccination remain our best defence, we can all still catch COVID-19 if
vaccinated, putting loved ones’ health in danger, because 1 in 3 sufferers show
Coronavirus is spread through
particles exhaled from noses and mouths of infected people as they breathe,
speak or cough. These linger “like smoke” in unventilated spaces.
Healthcare Epidemiologist Consultant in
Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at UK Health Security Agency, Dr Susan
Opening windows for ten minutes, or a
small amount continuously, makes a big difference.
Let fresh air into your home before,
during and after visitors.
Good ventilation can substantially
reduce the risk of passing on COVID-19 indoors.
And we should still wear face
coverings in enclosed spaces and within crowds.
NHS Test and Trace will continue to
protect the public.
If you show symptoms, arrange a free
PCR test as soon as possible and, if positive, self-isolate.
We should continue to regularly use
rapid tests, which are free, easy and results are confirmed within 30 minutes.
These are available by visiting nhs.uk/Get-Tested, some
pharmacies or by calling 119.
Before attending pharmacies, you
should register at gov.uk/get-collect-code or by calling 119 for a code to show
when you collect your test packs.
Over the course of the pandemic over
298 million PCR and rapid lateral flow tests have been conducted, which has
identified over 7.8 million COVID-19 cases.
Reporting results at gov.uk/report-covid19-result helps quickly identify virus spread
and outbreaks, allowing health chiefs to respond sooner.
If positive, you should immediately
self-isolate and confirm your result by taking a PCR test, easily ordered online.
“Lateral flow devices are effective at
finding people with high viral loads who are most infectious and most likely to
transmit the virus to others,” explained Dr Susan Hopkins.
“It is a very good test,” confirmed
the UK Health Security Agency’s Healthcare Epidemiologist Consultant in
Infectious Diseases and Microbiology.
3 Key steps
fresh air flow into indoor spaces, allowing COVID-19 particles to blow away.
windows for a short time can help reduce such risks.
family and friends outdoors when and wherever possible.
Flow Device test regularly, even if you don’t have symptoms, because 1 in 3
people suffering coronavirus don’t show any symptoms.
testing if you feel there will be a period of higher risk that day, to yourself
or others. Examples include:
in crowded indoor spaces, for example a nightclub
a rapid lateral flow test before a period of higher risk gives you peace of
mind that you are unlikely to be infectious with COVID-19, and it is unlikely
you will spread the virus. If you do test positive, you can then take action to
help stop the virus spreading. Let’s send our children back to school safely.
Your family and friends can get tested for free.
3 Face coverings
face coverings at all times within crowded spaces.