Keep it quick and wear a MASK! Sage advice on hugs ahead of biggest lockdown easing yet
KEEP hugs short and wear a mask, an expert has urged ahead of a huge relaxation of Covid rules.
Professor Cath Noakes has advised people should reserve their embraces for a small group of family members “who would really value a hug”.
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3Wear a mask and be quick with your hugs, an expert has saidCredit: GettyThe scientist, who sits on Sage, told the BBC: “I think don’t hug too frequently, keep it short, try and avoid being face-to-face, so perhaps turn your face away slightly, and even wearing a mask could help.”
She added it would worry her “if we were advocating we could hug all of our friends every time we meet them again”.
Dr Hilary added: “Professor Noakes, she’s part of SAGE, she’s saying that actually she’s worried. She’s saying that hugs should be selective.
“They should be short, they should be selective… hug your children, hug your grandchildren, not promiscuous hugs we’re not talking about here, not hugging everybody, not getting too close for too long.
“Right now it might be a mistake, because we have got these new variants, we’ve still got 2,000 cases that we know about every day, probably a lot more that we’re not testing for, so it is still time to be cautious.”
This afternoon Boris Johnson is set to announce Brits starved of embraces for over a year will be allowed once more to hug each other when the next stage of lockdown lifts on May 17.
At the moment anyone who doesn’t live together is advised to keep at least 1.5 metres away from others to stop the spread of the virus.
But, as first revealed by The Sun it’s expected that people will be told they can finally hug their close friends and family again – but social distancing rules will be expected to stay for others.
‘AVOID BEING FACE-TO-FACE’
Brits will be told they can decide on their own levels of risk “for their own circumstances” and take decisions into their own hands after months of advice from ministers about what to do.
It comes as Dr David Nabarro, special envoy on Covid-19 for the World Health Organisation, told Sky News: “I’m pleased with the reality that people are being quite cautious, perhaps even a little bit afraid, of what this virus might bring.
“But I think, at the same time, we’ve got to get on with life, and we can’t go on mothballing ourselves forever.
“So, finding a way to restart, despite this fear, is what I think we will have to do.
“We must maintain a very vigilant posture in the coming months because there will no doubt be variants appearing.
“But, at the same time, we have to get on with life so we have to just be on the lookout for new spikes of disease and deal with them when they come.”
It is thought that the PM will confirm that from May 17, people will finally be able to meet their loved ones inside their homes again.
It means groups of six or fewer – or two households – will be allowed to meet indoors.
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The last relaxation of rules in April gave the thumbs up to pubs and restaurants opening up – but only for service outside.
But from next week they will be able to fling their doors back open and welcome customers back inside.
Mr Johnson is also going to confirm changes to the Rule of Six, holidays, funerals and weddings.
Dr Hilary Jones says increased risk of Covid transmission from hugging is ‘substantial’