New campaign to prevent spread of coronavirus indoors this winter

A new science-based public information campaign will be launched ahead of winter to highlight how everyone can help to stop the spread of the virus by remembering to wash their hands, cover their face and make space.

‘Hands. Face. Space’ will run across TV, radio, print, out of home, social and digital display advertising, as well as on community media channels and will be supported by a variety of public and private sector partners throughout the coming weeks.

As part of this campaign, a new video is being released to show exactly how coronavirus spreads indoors. With people expected to spend more time inside during the winter, the film – produced with the help of scientific experts – encourages the public to follow simple steps to reduce the risk of infection.

Through a scientifically-based reconstruction of everyday scenarios the film shows how the interactions between people, surfaces and the air spread the virus. The film also reflects how coronavirus spreads through droplets that come out of our nose and mouth. This is a reminder to the public of the importance of remaining aware of their surroundings and following the guidance.

Washing your hands

While coronavirus is not likely to survive for long periods of time on outdoor surfaces in sunlight, it can live for more than 24 hours in indoor environments. Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer, regularly throughout the day will reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus.

Covering your face

Coronavirus is carried in the air by tiny respiratory droplets. Larger droplets can land on other people or on surfaces they touch while smaller droplets, called aerosols, can stay in the air indoors for at least 5 minutes, and often much longer if there is no ventilation . Face coverings reduce the dispersion of these droplets, meaning if you’re carrying the virus you’re less likely to spread it when you breathe out.

Making space

Transmission of the virus is most likely to happen within 2 metres, with risk increasing exponentially at shorter distances. While keeping this exact distance isn’t always possible, remaining mindful of surroundings and continuing to make space has a powerful impact when it comes to containing the spread.

While coronavirus deaths have significantly reduced, the virus is still circulating in communities and impacting people of all ages across the UK. ‘Hands. Face. Space’ are simple but vital behaviours that have the power to protect the public from both the short and potential long-term impact of coronavirus.

Professor Catherine Noakes, part of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) who specialises in airborne infections said: “The public are encouraged to continue to be vigilant of coronavirus symptoms which include a new continuous cough, high temperature, or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell. If you or someone you know, displays any symptoms, no matter how mild, please get a free test by calling 119 or visiting NHS.uk”

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