Covid-19: 'No time' spent inside shops is safe, Sage member says

29 November 2020, 13:58

By Kate Buck

There is "no time" that can be spent inside a non-essential shop and be totally safe from Covid-19, a Sage member has warned.

Speaking on Swarbrick on Sunday, Professor Susan Michie from University College London, said it was like playing a game of "Russian roulette" every time we go indoors where other people who might be infected are.

Asked by LBC's Tom Swarbrick how much time could be spent in a shop in a Tier 3 area to keep customers and staff safe, Prof Michie said: "No time."

"What we know is that the more people who are in contact with each other, the over the longer period of time the closer proximity, and especially indoors then the more risky you are," she added.

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"The problem is if it's indoors and theres not really good ventilation then you only need one infected person to have sneezed and coughed a bit and then you've got these aerosols, these tiny tiny droplets, that stay in the air for many many hours.

Sage member Professor Susan Michie said people should spend "no time" in shops when restrictions are relaxed
Sage member Professor Susan Michie said people should spend "no time" in shops when restrictions are relaxed. Picture: LBC

"If you rush in and rush out then you should be alright, especially if you're wearing a mask, but the longer time you spend in a shop then the more likely you are to get infected.

"I'm afraid it's not a simple thing where you can say if you're in for X number of minutes then you're safe, that just isnt the case.

"We also vary massively in vulnerability and that depends massively on our genes, our state of health, and none of us know that.

"It's a bit like Russian roulette, we're all taking a gamble any time we're putting ourselves into a place where other people are who might be infected."