Frequently Asked Questions

We don’t fit exactly into the brackets you have set out but believe we should have a higher rating, is there flexibility?

We would be absolutely delighted to talk to you, the main aim of this scheme is to help members of our community find places that are trying to provide safer access and to encourage businesses to help provide safe inside spaces. If you are trying to help, we want to promote your business!

We don’t run our air filters when the treatment rooms are empty?

The rating scale is trying to say that Hepa filters need to run continuously because Covid can linger in the air for hours, however clearly if a room is only used occasionally and isn’t going to be used again for a couple of hours, there would be no need to leave them running.

I thought the pandemic was over, where is this view that inside space is not safe coming from?

The World Health Organisation announced that the emergency phase of the Covid pandemic was behind us, clarifying in that statement that Covid had not by any measure become less dangerous but that governments needed to move to permanent solutions to dealing with Covid.

Our media / government reported this by saying the pandemic was over. Covid infection levels have never receded, we have and are still experiencing around 5 waves each year, it is not seasonal

Stopping testing and reporting data does not make a virus go away. Covid is still directly accounting for 2,000 deaths a month in the UK, the ONS in fact just changed their calculation of excess deaths reported to give the impression that excess deaths are now far lower – because the additional 24,000 deaths a year has now become normal and ‘expected’.

That said, the science is very clear that the real danger to most people is long term and that we are only just starting to see the real damage. Long Covid, a chronic and debilitating auto-immune condition is already affecting over 2m people just in the UK, long term sickness levels are at record highs, school absences are at record highs. Large numbers of studies are showing neurological damage in a large percentage of people after even mild Covid infections, similarly large numbers of studies also show vascular damage, again in possibly a majority of people post any infection. Covid is not ‘like flu’.

I heard it was the early strains that caused the most harm and that it is much milder now

Unfortunately this is propaganda with no correlation to the science. It is true infection now carries a much lower risk of death and hospitalisation and most headlines focus on this, but this is not the main danger for most people and as the virus has evolved the risk of these long term harms has if anything increased. The truth is that exactly how bad the long term impacts will be is unknown.

I heard it was the early strains that caused the most harm and that it is much milder now

Unfortunately this is propaganda with no correlation to the science. It is true infection now carries a much lower risk of death and hospitalisation and most headlines focus on this, but this is not the main danger for most people and as the virus has evolved the risk of these long term harms has if anything increased. The truth is that exactly how bad the long term impacts will be is unknown.

What if our customers don’t want to mask and don’t want us to mask?

This is understandable given the public health narrative that Covid is over, or that it only affects ‘vulnerable’ people. Ignoring the fact that this is simply not true, even if it was true, vulnerable people should be able to safely access healthcare, we should not want a society where to enable you to keep living as normal, vulnerable people just have to be removed from participation in society.

The above said, as an organisation advocating for Long Covid and other vulnerable communities we are very aware of where most people are at the moment, our priority with the Safe Inside scheme is to identify organisations that are prepared to make their spaces Covid Safer so that our communities can easily find these places when they need care of any kind. We accept many organisations will choose to continue to be outside of this scheme but our hope is that even in these cases they can look at the mitigations in the assessment rating scale and see if there are any steps they feel they could take.

I saw a report that said masks are not effective

There was a published study in 2021 that looked at rates of infection from periods where mask mandates were enforced and compared them to periods when they were not. The study found that mandating that everyone should wear a mask did not stop high levels of infection. This is not a surprise because masks at that point were cloth and blue surgical – which are not designed to filter pathogens and do not therefore filter pathogens (plus clearly lots of people didn’t wear the masks or didn’t wear them properly). Also it is highly disingenuous to take a study that showed public mandates are not 100% effective and report it claiming it showed that wearing a proper respirator does not protect the wearer from getting infected. Respirators are tested in a lab, whether they work or not is a matter of technical fact. Respirators are 95% effective. The study in question is the same as writing the sunscreen does not work because people still get sunburned.

The time it takes to be non-infectious after symptom onset hasn’t gone down, in fact newer variants are more and more immune evasive. Most people are still infectious at 8 to 10 days from symptom onset but this can be much longer. The 10 day isolation period is actually when ‘most’ people would no longer be highly infectious. The virus has evolved to become more infectious / immune evasive as time has passed. All smaller numbers are about getting people back to work and not about the science or public health. This is not a conspiracy theory, the government has been clear they are balancing the needs of the economy and want people to believe getting infected with Covid is part of normal life now.

We are following Government guidance

At the UK Covid Inquiry multiple government ‘witnesses’ made clear statements that the government chose the economy over public health, in the belief that trying to control Covid would be catastrophic for the economy. It was reported that scientists were silenced and there was an acceptance that we as a society need to get used to a new level of sickness and death.

UK public health guidance is not following the science. Junior doctors are mobilising a class action against the NHS, all employers already have a clear legal duty of care to keep their employees safe at work.

We have hand sanitising stations and social distance signage – why does this not feature in the rating system?

Covid is airborne it is not spread by contact. This has been known since 2020.

We don’t agree the science is clear, there are scientists disputing the claims being made about the danger of Covid

There are hundreds of thousands of published studies and research papers all aligned and explaining the clear and present danger that Covid presents. There is a small number of scientists who are aligned with powerful libertarian groups who are writing non peer reviewed opinion pieces that the media seek out and use for headlines. This initiative is not aimed at persuading people who do not want to engage with the science, we just want to find organisations that are prepared to follow the science and keep customers safe.

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