The places where you're most likely to catch Covid revealed

Going to the shops every week puts you at the most risk of getting coronavirus, new research shows.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) told the Government what activities are most likely to expose Brits to Covid-19.

Shopping frequently, using public transport and going to indoor hospitality venues held the biggest threat.

Researchers came to their conclusions after analysing 10,000 survey results from participants in England and Wales who answered questions about their weekly habits between September and November 21.

Those who went to the shops more than once a week had 2.2% more of a chance of contracting coronavirus.

Playing sports came in as the second-most dangerous activity (1.36%), but this may be because social activities like trips to the pub often come along with it.

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Going to a pub, bar or club once a week put people at 1.3% more risk while those who regularly took public transport were 1.2% more likely to catch Covid than those who didn’t.

But there was some variation between modes of transport – with a risk of 1.3% risk for buses, 1.2% for the underground, 1.19% for taxis and 1.18% for trams.

The data, compiled by SAGE’s Virus Watch Study, was prepared for a coronavirus meeting on December 23 to inform any further restrictions.

But it was not discussed, and this is likely because the data is taken from before there were any known Omicron cases in the UK.

Given Omicron’s drastic spike in recent months, the variant would surely create different results.

However, figures have started to go down over the last two days – suggesting the current wave may be reaching its peak.

Some 2,434 patients were admitted to hospital on January 3 – the most recent date for which data is available – which is more than a quarter of what daily admissions were just a week before.

Indeed, dozens of hospitals declared major incidents in recent days with the NHS pushed to ‘breaking point’ as Omicron hikes up admissions and keeps infected staff members off work.

The Army deployed its medics on Friday to help fill the gaps but Boris Johnson has insisted it is ‘not true’ that the health service does not have enough staff to cope with the pressures it is facing.

Although hospitalisations are high, it is unclear how many patients first go to the hospital with coronavirus and how many contract it while there for something else.

Up to 40% of coronavirus admissions come from patients who got infected while already there, according to MailOnline analysis of NHS statistics.

It is not all doom and gloom though as the rampant spread of Omicron may be making the virus easier to live with, a leading doctor the University of Warwick and a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (Spi-M).

Dr Mike Tildesley told Times Radio: ‘The thing that might happen in the future is you may see the emergence of a new variant that is less severe, and ultimately, in the long term, what happens is Covid becomes endemic and you have a less severe version.

‘It’s very similar to the common cold that we’ve lived with for many years.’

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has welcomed several ‘good, encouraging’ studies which show that Omicron could be up to 70% less likely to cause severe illness and therefore death.

However, these hopes have been around since the variant’s discovery in South Africa where hospital figures reflected this in the country’s younger population.

Although research so far has been promising, it is still too early to know for sure whether this will apply to older populations like the UK’s.

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