'Wear masks while out and about', health bosses tell sick Brits, as NHS creaks amid wave of Covid and flu

3 January 2023, 07:11

Brits have been asked to wear masks outside again
Brits have been asked to wear masks outside again. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Health bosses have warned sick people to wear masks while outside to protect other people as a wave of viruses continues to batter the UK.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Covid-19 and flu infections are sweeping the country, putting added pressure on the NHS at a time when the health service is already extremely stretched.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said wearing masks outside would help stop the spread of Covid, flu and scarlet fever.

Professor Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor at the UKHSA, added that adults should try not to go out when they are unwell if possible, and avoid visiting vulnerable people unless it is urgent.

Commuters wearing face masks on the Tube
Commuters wearing face masks on the Tube. Picture: Getty

She said "Adults should... try to stay home when unwell and if you do have to go out, wear a face covering. When unwell don’t visit healthcare settings or visit vulnerable people unless urgent.

"Remember that flu vaccination is still available for all eligible groups and is the best protection against the virus.

"We have seen good uptake in older age groups but vaccination among young children remains low. Flu can be very unpleasant and in some cases can lead to more serious illness.

"Getting your child vaccinated protects them and others they come into contact with, and it’s still not too late."

The warning comes as the NHS faces extreme pressures this winter
The warning comes as the NHS faces extreme pressures this winter. Picture: Getty

Prof Hopkins added that children should also be kept home from school or nursery if they are sick, and parents should teach them of the importance of washing hands in stopping the spread of illnesses.

Read more: 'British couple and pilot from Birmingham' among four dead in Australian horror helicopter smash

Read more: Jeremy Renner has surgery after suffering extensive injuries including 'blunt chest trauma' during snow plough crash

It comes amid a desperate time for the NHS, with a senior doctor warning that hundreds of people could be dying every week because of ambulance delays.

Andrew Castle: I would say the NHS has failed

Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “We went into this December with the worst-ever performance against our target and the highest-ever occupancy levels in hospital.

“We don’t know about the waiting time figures because they don’t come out for a couple of weeks — I’d be amazed if they’re not the worst ever that we’ve seen.

“We think somewhere between 300 and 500 people are dying as a consequence of delays and problems with urgent and emergency care each week.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Mugshot of McNaughton, left, and smiling photo or Mr Coshan, right

Catfisher jailed for life after murdering retired teacher he 'lured' to flat using fake profile on gay dating site

Breaking
Keir Starmer said he was "really shocked" at the footage

'Shocked' Keir Starmer accuses police of 'animal cruelty' after runaway cow rammed five times with squad car

The OceanGate submersible has five people on board

Poignant CGI shows how deep doomed Titan descended on it's ill-fated final journey to the Titanic wreck

Nigel Farage vows to fix 'broken Britain' as he launches Reform UK election 'contract'

Nigel Farage vows to fix 'broken Britain' as he launches Reform UK election 'contract'

Shanika Ocean who plays DC Anna Gilchrist in Silent Witness

Silent Witness actress tells of terror after hooded man tries to get in her car near Tower Bridge

Police were called to Blair Way, Aberavon on Monday

Man, 24, airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after dog attack

Nigel Farage confirmed his ambition to be prime minister by 2029

Nigel Farage reveals ambition to be Prime Minister by 2029 ahead of Reform UK manifesto launch

A missing American tourist has been found dead on a beach on a small Greek island west of Corfu, local media reports

American tourist who went missing on hike found dead on Greek island days after death of Dr Michael Mosley

Joshua Merchan-Nicholls

Would-be pilot needs £106,000 for flight training after losing support when company that backed him shut

Alan won eight League titles and three European Cups with Liverpool

Alan Hansen ‘on the mend’ and sounding ‘fabulous’ says his friend Graeme Souness

French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet was one of the five passengers on board Titan

Daughter of 'Mr Titanic' killed in Titan tragedy pays tribute to father one year on from disaster

x

Greek coastguard caused dozens of deaths in Mediterranean - including nine who were deliberately thrown in water, investigation finds

Police rammed the cow

New ‘heartbreaking’ videos show close up of ‘3rd or 4th attempt’ as police ram 4x4 into terrified cow

Mr Shapps told LBC the Tories are 'underdogs'

Defence secretary says Tories are the ‘underdogs’ with weeks to go until General Election

Grant StClair-Armstrong says he was forced to stand down by the Reform UK party

Reform UK candidate resigns after blog posts calling for people to vote for British National Party emerge

THIS! has issued a recall notice to customers over its vegan chicken and bacon wrap which is sold at WHSmith

Third company recalls popular food product as a 'precautionary measure' due to possible E. coli contamination