To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of preventative measures other than vaccination that could be taken to mitigate a winter flu outbreak in 2021.
22 July 2021
Non-pharmaceutical interventions in place for COVID-19 last winter such as mask-wearing, social-distancing and restricted international travel resulted in extremely low influenza activity globally. As restrictions are lifted, it is expected that winter 2021/2022 will be the first winter in the United Kingdom when seasonal influenza and other respiratory viruses will co-circulate alongside COVID-19. The National Health Service continues to recommend hand washing, using tissues to catch coughs and sneezes and disposing of them as quickly as possible. However, influenza vaccination remains a cost-effective measure to protect those at risk and reduce hospitalisations.