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People urged to wear masks and stay at home if unwell as pressure on NHS mounts

People have been urged to wear face coverings and remain at home if feeling unwell, as an already crisis-stricken NHS faces down multiple waves of winter illnesses.

With children returning to school at a time when high levels of flu, Covid-19 and scarlet fever are all being reported, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued fresh guidance in a bid to minimise the diseases’ spread.

Parents have been urged to keep children at home if they are unwell and have a fever, with adults told to only go out if necessary and wear face coverings if they are ill and avoid visiting vulnerable people.

While transport secretary Mark Harper said the advice was “very sensible”, Downing Street insisted that such guidance was “pretty longstanding”, stressing that it was “not mandatory” and remained a far cry from ministers “telling people what to do” at the height of the pandemic.

The government has also reintroduced travel bans for those testing positive for Covid-19 in China from 5 January amid a mass outbreak there.

It comes as pressure on the NHS continues to grow, but Rishi Sunak said he was “confident” the NHS has the funding it needs despite accusations from senior doctors his government is in denial about the scale of the crisis in the health service.

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Source: The Independent, 3 January 2023


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