Covid: 13 ways to reduce your risk of catching coronavirus this winter - according to experts

NationalWorld asked health experts the best ways to reduce the risk of catching Covid this winter

Covid cases are still high in the UK and with winter quickly approaching there’s now flu and colds to consider.

But how can you reduce the risk of catching Covid this winter?

Here’s what you need to know.

How can I reduce my risk of catching Covid?

The following expert tips can help reduce your risk of getting coronavirus this winter.

1. Wear a mask

Dr Alisha Damani said wearing a mask is one of the most important barriers to reducing the risk of catching and spreading the virus, particularly in indoor, crowded areas.

Royal Pharmaceutical President Claire Anderson added: “You must continue to wear face masks in health care settings, such as pharmacies, and we recommend wearing a face covering when it’s hard to stay away from other people, such as on public transport or in busy indoor spaces over the festive period.”

2. Wash your hands regularly

Another easy, simple, yet significant measure that will reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus.

Dr Stephanie Ooi, GP at doctor-led private healthcare business MyHealthcare Clinic, said: “Coronavirus spreads through tiny droplets which are released by someone who is infected when they cough, sneeze or speak.

“The best way to avoid catching the virus is to keep your distance from people who might be infected, and to wash your hands regularly.

“Washing your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds is the best way to ensure your hands are free of tiny droplets which you might have come into contact with by touching surfaces such as door handles.

3. Use hand sanitiser regularly

Using hand sanitiser regularly when out can also help to reduce your risk of catching Covid.

4. Avoid crowded gatherings indoors where possible

As it gets colder we will end up spending more time indoors and sharing the upcoming festivities with a larger group of people.

“Think about who you are seeing and where, and, if possible, meet outdoors,” advised Ms Anderson.

5. Keep windows open if meeting indoors to allow for ventilation

Dr Ooi said: “In winter we tend to meet indoors much more, so it’s a good idea to open windows where possible and to avoid crowded places where it’s more likely you will come into contact with someone who is infected.”

6. Keep space between yourself and others

Dr Ooi also advised keeping  a distance between yourself and other people, even when meeting friends and family.

7. Get vaccinated

The science shows that the risk of illness from the virus is significantly reduced in those who are vaccinated.

Ms Anderson said: “It is vital that those invited get the Covid-19 booster jab. This will not only protect you this winter, but also help stop the spread of the virus.”

Dr Ooi added: “If you’re able, do get the vaccination if you haven’t already, and get the booster jab when you are invited.”

8. Avoid touching your face or eyes

Dr Ooi advised not touching your face or your eyes with your hands if they are unwashed.

9. Stay at home

“It’s also important to stay at home if you have any symptoms of Covid to prevent spreading the illness to other people, and to continue to wear masks when in public areas,” said Dr Ooi.

How to help the immune system

There are also steps you can take to keep your immune system strong, which in turn can help to reduce your risk of catching Covid.

Dr Damani said: “We can still enjoy our winter if we keep ourselves and others safe, protected and our immune systems fuelled.”

Her top tips include:

1. Staying hydrated

Most of our body is made up of water and we need adequate hydration for our cells to work optimally. You’ll notice yourself slowing down when you are dehydrated - the impact is similar to your immune system.

2. Keeping your body fueled

Our immune system relies on their building blocks to perform powerfully. These include our ‘macros’ such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats that we need in large volumes, and ‘micros’ which encompass our vitamins and minerals. Our immune system needs both to function at its best.

3. Supplementing your diet

If you find it hard to balance your nutrition, there are multiple ways to supplement your health, including over-the-counter vitamins to specialist recipes and diet plans. Seek advice from a nutritionist/health expert to ensure you receive an individualised health plan.

4. Getting enough sleep

Science demonstrates that a body well rested is a body that is ready to fight another day.