The public are being urged to stay at home as part of a major advertising campaign encouraging the public to control the spread of the virus and protect the NHS and save lives.
Around one in three people with coronavirus don’t have any symptoms and can pass it on without realising, which is why it’s essential everyone stays at home and remembers Hands, Face, Space. The ‘Stay at home, save lives’ advert will run across TV, radio, out of home advertising and on social media, and will include a new advert fronted by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, which aired for the first time on 8 January 2021.
The campaign recognises the overwhelming pressure facing the NHS and urges people to stay at home. It comes as current data shows cases and deaths are at an all-time high and NHS hospitals and staff are under huge pressure, with some hospitals in the South East at extreme capacity.
On 1 September, there were under 500 coronavirus inpatients in hospitals in England. On 1 November this increased to approximately 9,000. On Christmas Day, it was just below the last peak at 17,701 and on 7 January there were 28,246 – that is an increase of more than 11,000 in under two weeks.
Recent data shows that the UK recorded 68,053 new coronavirus cases - the highest daily total of the pandemic so far, as well as the highest ever daily coronavirus deaths with 1,325 fatalities.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Our hospitals are under more pressure than at any other time since the start of the pandemic, and infection rates across the entire country continue to soar at an alarming rate. 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. 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.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our NHS is facing a huge challenge - it is under immense pressure and it’s imperative now more than ever we all play our part. I know how much we have all sacrificed already, but the new variant has significantly changed the current landscape and we absolutely cannot let up now.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel - the vaccine will provide a way out of this and over 1.5 million people across the UK have now been vaccinated. Every day we are closer to beating this virus, but right now, we need to pull together for one final push and I’m urging you to continue to do your bit by staying at home to save lives and protect the NHS.”