There’s been particular discussion about whether the virus might be less transmitted during the summer months as influenza would be.
We have to be clear that we do not yet know the impact of the seasons on Covid-19.
We absolutely cannot assume that because we’re moving into the summer months, when other respiratory viruses traditionally decrease, that Covid-19 would also decrease.
What we do know about summer, though, is that Australians will get outside, and they should in the states where they’re able to do so. And as restrictions are lifted in Victoria, so too will Victorians be able to get out and enjoy the warmer weather.
But when people are getting outside that means two important things that affect Covid-19 transmission. One is movement of people across cities, across states, and the second one is crowds, which we see frequently.
If we can’t assume Covid-19 will be any less transmitted, we have to assume the increase in crowds will potentially bring risk.
We have seen in the northern hemisphere Covid running rampant across many nations during the summer months as holiday-makers go to and from countries in Europe, bringing the disease back in to their own country and sparking new outbreaks of Covid-19.
So the message is, as we move into the summer months, treat the summer with as much caution as you’ve treated winter.
And that means keep physical distance. That means get tested if you’re at all unwell.
Don’t go to a family gathering down at the beach if you’re unwell or the kids are unwell. Stay at home and get yourself tested.
Wear a mask if you’re on public transport going to and from those areas. It’s very hard to find a park in most of the beaches in Sydney. A lot of people use the train and public transport. It’s critically important to wear a mask when you’re doing that.
Excellent hand hygiene, of course, and there has never been a better time to download the Covidsafe app and have it active on your phone when you’re highly likely to be around people who you don’t know at close distance for 15 minutes or more.