A HEALTH boss has urged people to try to avoid enclosed spaces and keep windows and doors open to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Alistair Hill, director of public health in Brighton and Hove, has issued the reminder following the easing of restrictions on Monday, which means up to six people or two households can now meet inside.

Mr Hill said being indoors with lots of different people for longer periods of time can "significantly increase" the risk of the virus spreading - and urged people to take extra care to keep themselves safe.

He said: "As wonderful as it has been to be able to sit down with friends in cafes and pubs and living rooms again, this freedom to meet indoors is not without risk.

"Outdoors is still much safer than being indoors. Try to avoid enclosed spaces, reduce how long you stay inside and don’t sit too close to other people.

The Argus:

“When you are inside with other people, make sure you've got some way to get fresh air circulating by opening windows and keeping doors open.

“This is just as important for everyone who’s already had their first or second vaccination.

“Even though we can meet indoors again, you don’t have to.

"It’s okay to ask for windows and doors to be kept open to let fresh air circulate, and to keep wearing your face mask for an extra layer of protection if you want to.”

Mr Hill explained how the virus spreads in small particles in the air and a two metre distance "may not always be enough in every situation, especially indoors" to stop transmission.

He added: "The Covid virus spreads in particles that come out of our nose and mouth when we laugh, cough, sneeze and speak.

"It takes hold in the body when we breathe in - that's why testing involves a swab up the nose and down the back of the throat.

“Larger particles on our breath fall to the ground, like raindrops.

The Argus:

"But some are so small they can float in the air and travel further - similar to aerosol hairspray, cigarette smoke or steam.

"These small particles appear to cause outbreaks so a 2m distance may not always be enough in every situation, especially indoors.

“Good airflow dilutes and blows away aerosol droplets making it less likely you'll inhale enough to become ill.

"Think of the difference between sitting in a closed room with someone smoking compared with being with them while they smoke outside.

The Argus:

"That is why ventilation is so important in the fight against Covid.

“Being indoors, with lots of different people, for longer periods of time, can significantly increase the risk of the virus spreading."

It comes after two cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19 were detected in the city earlier this week.

The latest figures show there were 54 new cases in the city last week, up to Friday, May 14 - an increase of 38.5 per cent on the previous week.

The rate of infection for the latest seven day period available, up to Saturday, May 15, stands at 18.6 per 100,000 population.

Mr Hill said: "Getting vaccinated as soon as you can is the best way protect yourself and others from all variants of the virus. 

"The relaxing of restrictions has been hard won. It would be awful to have to go back into lockdown.

"We must do everything we can to stop the virus from creeping further into our communities and neighbourhoods."