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An advertising blitz has been launched to encourage people to stay at home despite declining coronavirus transmission rates, the success of the vaccine rollout and the launch of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
The campaign also urges people to keep going with behavioural changes including mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing.
The television advert was being shown for the first time on ITV on Wednesday night, but the campaign will also run on radio, advertising billboards and social media.
England’s stay at home order will remain in place until at least 29 March despite the minor easing of restrictions and the return of schools on 8 March.
As the campaign was launched, England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, said: “Infection rates are falling but they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals across the country. Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but for now we must all continue to play our part in protecting the NHS and saving lives.”
Earlier, the deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, acknowledged that there had been a slowdown in the vaccine rollout due to supply fluctuations. But he insisted he remained confident the targets of giving a first dose to the top nine priority groups by mid-April and to all adults by the end of July will be met.
The latest government data up to 23 February showed 18,242,873 across the UK had received a first dose of a vaccine – a rise of 326,692 on the previous day.
The call for people to maintain social distancing came amid continuing pressure from some Conservative MPs for the government to move faster on lifting restrictions.
Under the plan set out by Boris Johnson on Monday, England’s stay at home order will remain in place until at least 29 March despite the minor easing of restrictions and the return of schools on 8 March.
At a No 10 press conference, deputy chief medical officer Dr Jennie Harries acknowledged that the restrictions have had a particular impact on children, but urged them not to start embracing their grandparents again as soon as they received the jab.
“Having got so far down the line with this now … I would encourage children – even if their grandparents have had their vaccinations – not to go hugging them too much until we are absolutely sure what the impact of that vaccine rollout has been,” she said.
“I am sure it is going to be positive but we just need to take a steady course out.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Fresh Covid ad campaign launches urging England to ‘stay at home’ | Coronavirus