Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
The Conversation logo

England is deep into its third lockdown, yet the daily tally of new COVID cases and deaths remains sickeningly high. As Chris Whitty, the country’s chief medical officer, said recently, more needs to be done to bring the pandemic under control.

Masks, which when worn correctly are highly effective in reducing transmission, are already compulsory in indoor public places in the UK. There is talk of making them mandatory in some outdoor settings, as is currently the case in Spain. Perhaps the UK should follow France and require people who are jogging or cycling to wear masks if they are unable to maintain a physical distance from pedestrians.

There are many arguments against such a measure. The risk of transmitting coronavirus outdoors is an order of magnitude less than indoors, according to a study that has yet to be published in a scientific journal. Exercising outdoors is one of the few freedoms people in England still have. When jogging or cycling, contacts tend to be rare and fleeting, so would not meet the UK’s official definition of a “close contact” for which one needs to spend 15 minutes closer than two metres – though this time period can now be notched up in a series of shorter encounters throughout a day.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

Oxford is a subscribing member of The ConversationFind out how you can write for The Conversation.

Similar stories

PRINCIPLE Covid-19 treatments trial widens to under 50s and adds colchicine

Clinical Trials Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

From today, the UK’s national priority platform trial of Covid-19 treatments for recovery at home launches its investigation of the gout drug colchicine, and expands for the first time to include adults of any age.

Regular meat consumption linked with a wide range of common diseases

Research

Regular meat consumption is associated with a range of diseases that researchers had not previously considered, according to a large, population-level study conducted by a team at the University of Oxford.

New data show vaccines reduce severe COVID-19 in older adults

Coronavirus COVID-19 Research

New data show both Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines significantly reduce severe COVID-19 in older adults.

Singula Bio, a new Oxford spin-out company - Cancer need not be fatal

General Innovation Research

Singula Bio, a bold new seed-stage biotechnology company spun out of Oxford University, has been launched with the intention of helping show that cancer need not be fatal. Led by three Oxford cancer specialists, the firm is aims to become a world leader in therapies to use against difficult-to-treat solid malignancies such as ovarian cancer - using the body’s own immune system to fight previously fatal cancers.

Major rise in public support for COVID vaccine – Oxford study

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

More than three quarters of people in the UK now say they are ’very likely’ to have the vaccine – up from 50% among the same group of survey respondents five months ago –according to a two-wave Oxford University survey published today.