A new government campaign is being launched to remind people to wash their hands, cover their faces and keep their distance, in a bid to keep infections down as the winter months approach.
With the slogan “Hands. Face. Space”, advertising will run across TV, radio, print, social and digital display advertising, as well as on community media channels, the Department of Health and Social Care has said.
The slogan was originally launched by the prime minister in July, but collided with the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s catchy and inviting message, “Eat out to help out”, offering discounts at local restaurants. “Hands. Face. Space” failed to enter the public consciousness to the same degree.
Watch: Government releases new campaign video to combat coronavirus ahead of winter
A strong and simple message to promote hygiene and social distancing may now be seen as urgent, following a big rise in case numbers over the past three days and the severe warnings from deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam that we could be in for “a bumpy ride” if people ignore the guidance.
A new film will focus on the dangers of coronavirus spread indoors, pointing out that the virus does not survive in the sunshine for long, but can linger on indoor surfaces for 24 hours or more. The film shows a “scientifically based reconstruction of everyday scenarios”,the department said, and how droplets spread from the nose and mouth of someone who is infected.
“As we approach winter and inevitably spend more time indoors, we need the public to keep following this important advice to control the spread of the virus,” said chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty.
“‘Hands. Face. Space’ emphasises important elements of the guidance we want everybody to remember: wash your hands regularly, use a face covering when social distancing is not possible and try to keep your distance from those not in your household.
“Following these simple steps could make a significant difference in reducing the transmission of Covid-19 and help protect you and your friends, colleagues and family from the virus.”
The first slogan adopted by the government, “Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives”, was simple, powerful and considered to be a success. Once ministers wanted people to leave their homes, it was changed to “Stay alert, control the virus, save lives”, which was thought confusing and failed to have anything like the same impact.