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Try this online tool to work out your risk of catching Covid in daily settings amid Omicron fears

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THIS online tool can help you work out your risk of catching Covid in your gym class, office, supermarket or other daily setting.

As Christmas approaches, Brits will be extra wary of catching the virus and landing in self-isolation.

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Try the tool by clicking here.

The risks of you catching Covid from an infected person are high when you are both talking over a table in a small room with no ventilation, social distancing or face coverings

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The risks of you catching Covid from an infected person are high when you are both talking over a table in a small room with no ventilation, social distancing or face coveringsCredit: BMJ

And with the new Omicron variant, described as the “new kid on the block” by England’s deputy chief medical officer, the threat has become that more real.

It is feared to spread faster than Delta as well as evade some vaccine protection – although research is ongoing.

With what evidence is available on how the coronavirus spreads, experts have been able to put together an interactive graphic that allows you to work out your risk of getting infected in various settings.

Published in the British Medical Journal, it gives an indication of how likely you’ll get the virus if you’re singing, eating, exercising or are silent in rooms of varying sizes.

It allows you to input whether people would be wearing masks, social distancing, or hand-washing regularly.

You can also add in parameters such as perspex screens and ventilation, both of which may limit the spread of virus particles.

Some 26 international experts came together to give evidence for each of the different paths of transmission to make the model.

Coronavirus is thought to spread most often by small aerosols and respiratory droplets.

These come out of the mouth when we talk, cough, sneeze and so on.

If one of these particles lands in the mouth, nose or eyes of someone else, or they inhale them, then they are at risk of falling unwell with Covid.

This is most likely to happen when people are in crowded indoor spaces where there is a lack of fresh air or face coverings.

It may also be caught from surfaces contaminated by an infected person, such as a table. But officials think this is a less frequent occurrence.

How to use the tool

First, you select the type of environment you imagine yourself being in; Is it a large room? Will people be more than 2m apart? Are they talking, singing, or silent?

Then you can add in additional measures that both prevent an infected person spreading the virus, and from a healthy person picking it up.

For example, you could select if the infected person is wearing a face covering, but the other person is not.

The darker the colours shown, the higher the estimated risk.

Some areas are very light in colour and may be blocked out entirely, indicating there is very low risk.

For example, in a gym where there is no direct contact with anyone else, people are washing their hands and the equipment, the transmission risk through contaminated surfaces is drastically reduced.

Selecting an FFP3 mask for both people takes the odds to almost zero. These masks are medical-grade and used in hospitals, for example. 

The researchers hope it will help people understand how to go about their daily activities with a little more caution.

Author Alexandra Freeman at the University of Cambridge said: “You can explore the scenarios that are most relevant to you, whether it’s because you sing in a choir, or want to know about the risks of eating in a small restaurant. 

“How much difference would it make if you opened the windows, or cleaned the surfaces? Have a look and find out.”

It comes as the threat of Covid ramps up in the few weeks before Christmas, thanks to the highly mutated Omicron.

Some experts believe it will reach world domination in just three to six months, after being found in 23 countries within a week.

The UK Government is bolstering its defences against the strain by mandating face coverings and inviting everyone for a booster jab.

Some scientists have suggested that Covid-19 will need to be kept at bay with repeated vaccination campaigns while others have said it is too early to tell whether annual boosters will be needed.

The risks shown when two people are exercising in a large ventilated room while practising good hand hygeine

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The risks shown when two people are exercising in a large ventilated room while practising good hand hygeineCredit: BMJ
The potential risks in an office that is silent with ventilation and social distancing. An uninfected person is almost entirely protected if there are face coverings worn, for example

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The potential risks in an office that is silent with ventilation and social distancing. An uninfected person is almost entirely protected if there are face coverings worn, for exampleCredit: BMJ
You might be forced to wear a mask to the pub this Christmas as Omicron variant threatens tougher restrictions

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