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Return of face masks as health chiefs tell sick people to cover up or stay at home to curb soaring infections

HEALTH chiefs have told sick Brits to start wearing face masks while out and about or to stay at home.

The new advice is a bid to curb soaring infections as flu and Covid increase pressure on the hard-pressed NHS system.

Health chiefs say sick people should wear facemasks
500 people could be dying every week due to NHS delays caused by the winter flu crisis

The UK Health Security Agency say this will help minimise the spread of Covid, flu and scarlet fever.

Chief medical advisor Professor Susan Hopkins has asked adults to “try to stay home when unwell”, and those who have to should “wear a face covering”.

She added: “It’s important to minimise the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible.”

She has also urged parents to keep their kids out of school if they are ill or have a high temperature.

Professor Hopkins explained: “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.”

The UKHSA also urged parents to ensure eligible children get a flu vaccine.

Professor Hopkins said: “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.”

It comes after a top doctor warned up to 500 people could be dying every week due to NHS delays caused by the winter flu crisis.

More than a dozen ambulance services and NHS Trusts have triggered critical incidents in recent days.

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.”

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