With the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 widely reported in the media it is unsurprising that some people might be feeling anxious.

Infection rates in East Sussex remain very low, and at the time of writing, there are no cases of the Delta variant that have been identified in the area. That said, our experiences over the winter period will remind us how quickly things can change.

Looking at the latest data on positive cases of the Delta variant it appears to be more transmissible and this is causing concern nationally.

While the Delta variant is the current concern, as with all viruses, mutations and new variants are a natural phenomenon. The UK is blessed with the best surveillance of new variants, which is why they have become so newsworthy.

How to protect yourself

At the moment, there is no need for anyone in East Sussex to anything differently, continue following the latest Government guidance and if you develop symptoms it remains crucial that you self-isolate and get a symptomatic (PCR) test as soon as possible.

With further easing of restrictions, more social mixing allowed, the return of hugging and indoor dining it is likely that we will see some increase in positive cases.

If this worries you, there are some simple actions you can take now to protect yourself and those around you going forward.

Take regular symptom-free tests

If you’re leaving home and mixing with others, whether that be to do your weekly shop, get back to sporting activities, attend school, college, university, or work or  just visiting relatives and friends. Regular symptom-free testing will allow for early identification of infection. Which is especially important in people who have the virus but aren’t displaying symptoms. Find out where you can collect your symptom free test.

Book your vaccine as soon as you are eligible

There is strong evidence that the vaccines successfully fight the virus. Getting vaccinated as soon as you can is the best way protect yourself and others from all variants of the virus. People aged 34 and over, those who have a serious long-term health issue and unpaid carers are now eligible to book their vaccine. Book a coronavirus vaccination.

Hands, face, space

Continue to remember hands, face, space and limit your social contact where possible. Just because we can meet indoors now, doesn’t mean we have to. Being indoors, with different people, for longer periods of time, can significantly increase the risk of the Covid-19 spreading. It’s still safest to meet outside – even when you’ve had one or both vaccines. Our local businesses have created fantastic outdoor dining areas. But if the weather drives you indoors, keep windows and doors open to let fresh air circulate, make sure to reduce how long you stay inside and avoid sitting too close to other people.