The UK is facing a surge in Covid-19 infections from the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with a record number of Covid-19 cases (78,610) reported in the UK today. Cases of Covid-19 due to Omicron will soon account for most infections in the UK. Omicron has proved to be highly infectious – more so than other variants of SARS-CoV-2 – and is also able to evade vaccines better than other variants. To protect yourself, and reduce the risk of infection to you and others remember the three C approach to personal safety:
– Avoid closed spaces
– Avoid crowded spaces
– Avoid getting too close to other people when outside your household
These are simple and effective messages that need to be disseminated and adopted widely.
Remember also to get vaccinated – including with a booster as well as your first two doses – and to wear a good quality FFP2 mask when in indoor spaces outside your home. Three doses of vaccines provide much better protection against symptomatic Covid-19 infection than one or two doses. Test regularly with lateral flow devices. These don’t pick up all infections but can help identify the people who may be most infectious.
Finally, remember to improve ventilation whenever you are indoors, particularly with people from outside your household. The virus that causes Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is airborne. Good ventilation can help disperse the virus and reduce the concentration in the air, thereby lowering the risk of infection.
When vaccination, testing and ventilation are combined with wearing a higher quality face mask and adopting the 3C approach, you are reducing the risks of infection for you and the people close to you when you follow this guidance.