CHRISTMAS shoppers should try and limit their time in stores to less than 15 MINUTES, a grinch SAGE adviser has warned.
Professor Lucy Yardley – who advises the government on its Covid restrictions – says the public should keep their time inside shops to a minimum or risk catching the coronavirus.
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Christmas shoppers should spend no more than 15 minutes inside stories or risk catching Covid, a SAGE adviser has warnedCredit: AFP or licensors
This comes as the UK’s retail sector is in crisis with thousands of people fearing losing their jobs because of the government lockdown in England.
Professor Yardley, of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), says “most of us” do not need to spend more than 15 minutes inside a shop.
She told Times Radio: “The rule that is used for contact tracing is that if you spend 15 minutes with somebody closer than two metres then you have definitely had a potentially infectious contact with them.
“That is quite a generous amount of time.
“I am not sure that most of us would need that amount of time in a shop and really the less time that you spend in there the safer you are.”
She warned people need to be extra careful when out in public and continue to wear masks and socially distance while in shops.
“If everybody does actually wear masks, have plenty of ventilation, keep two metres apart, not spend too long in a shop because the longer you are in there the higher the risks, then actually sort of nipping out for a bit of Christmas shopping is not one of the most dangerous things that you can do,” she said.
Her comments come days before the UK’s non-essential shops open up again across England ahead of the busy Christmas season.
The government is already facing criticism over the Tier system in England which will be in place post-lockdown.
Under strict Tier 2 measures, pubs can only serve booze if they serve a “substantial meal” to patrons.
And people will be told to leave pubs and restaurants immediately after finishing their meal.
However, in a boost for the country after months of crippling restrictions, the UK nations have secured a deal for Brits to be able to see loved ones over the Christmas period.
Three households will be able to form a Covid bubble between December 23 to 27 as social distancing and travel rules will be temporarily scrapped.
Professor Lucy Yardley said shoppers should limit their time in stores