Coronavirus: how dangerous is the UK mutation?

What will change for me now, for example when I go shopping?

Suchomel and Hutter recommend increasing the use of FFP2 masks. “These FFP2 masks have already been recommended for people at risk.” While conventional mouth and nose protection is primarily external protection, FFP2 masks also increase self-protection considerably. They are problematic for those who wear beards because there is a gap between the skin and the mask: “I always breathe at least partially through a cloth mask, but if there is a small gap somewhere on the face with an FFP2 mask, almost all of the air goes through it – and with it the virus, ”says hospital hygienist Johannes Knobloch.

How is it in very small shops?

FFP2 masks are also very useful there, “because sometimes it is not possible to ventilate properly there,” explains German virologist Alexander Kekulé.

What is it like in public transport and taxis?

Suchomel and Hutter also recommend FFP2 masks on public transport. They also significantly increase self-protection in taxis, as they filter at least 94 percent of the particles from the air inhaled. Only FFP2 masks without an exhalation valve offer third-party protection. Many taxis already have plexiglass partitions.

If I go to the sausage counter or the cash desk – how much distance should I keep?

“Unfortunately, the baby elephant has shrunk to a meter – originally we had a minimum distance of 1.5 to 2 meters,” says Suchomel. “Internationally, it is often at least 1.5 meters,” emphasizes Hutter. “I would prefer to be two meters, but it would be good if at least one meter was adhered to everywhere.” Masks and distance reduce the risk of infection by 80 percent.

And how is it in the office?

If it is not possible to work from home and there is enough space, it is better to go beyond the minimum distance of one meter, emphasizes Hutter: “The functionality of room air systems should be checked.” In rooms without ventilation, ventilation should be more frequent: “In smaller rooms, two, three minutes.”

What do you know about the effect of the vaccination?

“The vaccinations should also work against the British virus variant,” says virologist Elisabeth Puchhammer-Stöckl.

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