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“WE JUST DON’T KNOW”: Says SAGE Professor when asked about impact of Indian variant


Restrictions continue to ease - but all throughout the pandemic, scientists have been concerned steps have been taken too quickly or perhaps in some cases too slowly.

Despite the latest round of restrictions, some on SAGE have urged the public to continue to meet outdoor where possible - remembering the aerosol spread of covid.

Professor Catherine Noakes is from the University of Leeds and SAGE Expert - she’s urged the public to remember the importance of fresh air. 

As these restrictions ease, it is important to remember to let fresh air in, as well as Hands, Face, Space, to stop the spread of the virus say the experts.

The message is essential as new research from Opinium, a strategic insight agency, has uncovered low awareness from the public about why some of these behaviours are important. It found:

- a quarter of adults (25%) either don’t know or don’t believe that opening windows when inside will reduce the spread of COVID-19;
- one in five (19%) do not understand why meeting people outside is better than meeting inside;
- there was high awareness of the need to wear a face covering (81%), washing hands (87%) and keeping distance (83%);
- one in five (21%) adults are unaware that the risk of catching COVID-19 is reduced when outside compared to inside;
- Just under half (46%) are unaware that fresh air blowsCOVID-19 particles away;
- 15% incorrectly believe that it is impossible to catch COVID-19 when outside;
- only half (50%) of Brits recognise that windows should be opened regularly throughout the day to reduce the risk of spreading the virus; and
- under a third (30%) open doors and windows a few times a day, 26% once every day, and 16% every few days - highlighting the need for more people to start letting fresh air into their homes.

The Government has launched a new advertising campaign with the message “when you let friends in, let fresh air in too”, urging people to open windows when meeting with friends and family indoors. The new campaign will run across TV, radio, press, digital, out of home advertising and social media.

As more people begin to spend time with friends and family indoors, the campaign highlights the importance of letting in fresh air - one in three people have COVID-19 but with no symptoms, so they could be spreading it without knowing, even if they have had the vaccination.

Medical experts, SAGE Scientists and spokespeople from certain industries reopening, including, London Eye and British Institute of Innkeeping are supporting the campaign to reiterate the messages to the public and are available for interviews to discuss the importance of the behaviours and explain how they are being put into practice.

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