The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is warning that public health measures to protect people against Covid-19 must be stepped up in the face of the discovery of the new variant, B.1.1.529.
RPS is calling for people to go back to the ‘hands, face, space and ventilation’ protection measures which have become less used over recent months.
RPS Director of Pharmacy Robbie Turner said:
“Whilst it’s too early to draw clear conclusions about the transmissibility or resistance of the new variant to current vaccines, one of the lessons from the pandemic is that we should act quickly to protect public health.
"Each one of us must take the necessary precautions of wearing a mask in higher risk situations, maintaining social distancing wherever possible, ensuring there’s appropriate ventilation indoors when meeting others and washing our hands regularly.
"It's never too late to get vaccinated. Getting a covid jab, or a booster vaccination, is still our best defence against this virus and I urge all those who are eligible to come forward. Many community pharmacies are providing vaccinations and are open long hours in convenient locations.
"We must protect each other and the NHS, which is already working at full capacity and beyond. Face coverings should always be worn in healthcare settings including community pharmacies."