A major new public awareness campaign is urging people to act like they have coronavirus amid record levels of daily deaths and infections.
With hospitals on the verge of breaking point and no signs of the disease slowing down, there are fears that Brits aren’t sticking to the rules as much as in the first lockdown.
On Friday the Government launched a TV advert encouraging people to keep complying with the restrictions.
It is fronted by England’s chief medical officer who tells viewers to stay at home and and ‘act like you’ve got it’.
In a solemn warning to the nation, Professor Whitty says: ‘Covid-19, especially the new variant, is spreading quickly across the country. This puts many people at risk of serious disease and is placing a lot of pressure on our NHS.
‘Once more, we must all stay at home. If it’s essential to go out, remember: wash your hands, cover your face indoors and keep your distance from others.
‘Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but for now we must all stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.’
Chris Whitty is fronting the advert telling people to stay at home
The campaign will be made up of a series of TV and radio adverts as well as a social media blitz.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pleaded with the public to comply with the ‘stay at home’ message.
He said hospitals are ‘under more pressure than at any other time’ since Covid-19 emerged, and that infection rates across England ‘continue to soar at an alarming rate’.
He said: ‘The vaccine has given us renewed hope in our fight against the virus but we must not be complacent.
‘The NHS is under severe strain and we must take action to protect it, both so our doctors and nurses can continue to save lives and so they can vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as we can.
Ambulances queue up outside the Royal London Hospital (Picture: PA)
‘I know the last year has taken its toll – but your compliance is now more vital than ever.
‘So once again, I must urge everyone to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.’
It comes after the UK saw its deadliest day of the pandemic so far with 1,325 deaths due to coronavirus reported in the latest 24 hour period on Friday.
Another record number of new Covid cases were also confirmed with 68,053 positive test results.
Meanwhile a new analysis shows more than half of all major hospital trusts in England currently have more Covid-19 patients than at the peak of the first wave.
The crisis is particularly bad in London, where Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a major incident yesterday saying the spread of the virus is ‘out of control’.
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