Wear A Face Mask If You Are Sick, Cabinet Minister Says

Oxford Street 21st January 2022.
Oxford Street 21st January 2022.

Oxford Street 21st January 2022.

People should wear a face mask if they are out and about and feeling ill, a cabinet minister has said.

Transport secretary Mark Harper said it was “very sensible” for people suffering from Covid or flu to to wear a face covering.

It comes after the UK Health Security Agency [UKHSA] issued back-to-school advice amid high levels of flu, Covid-19 and invasive Strep A [iGas].

Asked if he would wear a mask if he developed symptoms, Harper told LBC’s Nick Ferrari: “I think the UKHSA’s advice is that if you’re ill you should first of all stay at home.

“If you think you’ve got Covid or you’ve got flu actually the most sensible thing to do is to not go out and spread it.

“If you do go out, clearly wearing a mask is very sensible if you’re ill, but we manage these illnesses now by vaccination.

“So people should get vaccinated for Covid. They should also get a flu vaccination. We’ve seen very high levels of flu this winter. So if you’re eligible, you should get your flu vaccination as well that will help keep pressure off of the health service.”

The government is alsp bringing in fresh Covid measures for people travelling from China to England.
The government is alsp bringing in fresh Covid measures for people travelling from China to England.

The government is alsp bringing in fresh Covid measures for people travelling from China to England.

The UKHSA’s advice includes simple steps that can minimise the spread of illness in education and childcare settings as well as the wider community [iGas].

Figures released last week show that at least 30 children have now died in the UK from conditions related to iGas, which can cause scarlet fever.

Separately, the government is bringing in fresh Covid measures for people travelling from China to England.

From January 5 passengers will have to show a negative test before departing in a move described as “balanced and precautionary” by the government.

Professor Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at the UKHSA, said that children should stay home from school if they are unwell and have a fever.

“It’s important to minimise the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible,” she said.

“If your child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has resolved.”

Prof Hopkins also recommended that young children receive flu vaccination.

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

It comes amid a major pressures in the NHS and warnings that delays in A&E are causing the deaths of up to 500 patients every week.

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