Public Health England issue winter advice following cold weather warnings this week

Date published: 12 January 2021

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A yellow warning of snow and ice for North West England has again been issued by the Met Office, between 8am on Wednesday (13 January) and 9pm on Thursday (14 January).

A yellow warning of ice covers the Rochdale borough, whereas a yellow warning of snow covers neighbouring Whitworth in Rossendale.

However, heavy snow may affect parts of the warning area, with possible significant travel disruption.

What to expect

  • Possible travel delays on roads stranding some vehicles and passengers, especially across higher routes, with potential for road closures.
  • Possible delays or cancellations to rail and air travel.
  • Power cuts may occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected.
  • Untreated pavements and cycle paths might be dangerous or even impassable, posing a greater risk of injuries and accidents.

Public Health England has also issued a new cold weather warning this week, from 6pm on Monday 11 January to 9am Friday 15 January.

Regions that are most likely to be affected are the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, and the East of England.

These areas can expect harsh winter conditions with cold temperatures, widespread frost, and the possibility of ice. Snow is anticipated on Wednesday and Thursday.

With parts of the country experiencing yet another period of cold weather, Public Health England (PHE) is reiterating important health advice to help people to stay warm and well.


Cold weather can have both direct and indirect effects on our health


Dr Owen Landeg, Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist at PHE, said: “It’s important to try to heat your home to at least 18° Celsius, 64.4 Fahrenheit, particularly if you have reduced mobility, are 65 and over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease.

“Wearing a few layers of thin clothing is better at trapping heat than one thick layer, and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside to reduce the risk of slips and injury and the need for a hospital visit.

“Remember to keep checking on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses, by making a phone call or a social-distanced doorstep visit to those close by.

“If you are struggling to afford heating bills, Simple Energy Advice provides free advice on energy efficiency and national grants that could help you keep warm and well.”

This year, with Covid-19 circulating in England for the first during winter, it is critical that plans are in place to address the interacting risks that could arise from the concurrence of cold and Covid-19.

The latest edition of Health Matters, PHE’s professional resource, focuses on the effects of cold weather on health, looking at how coronavirus amplifies cold-related risks and actions that can be taken to prevent harm, particularly to the most vulnerable.


Public Health England explore the links between cold weather and our health in a particularly difficult winter season this year, where Covid-19 is also prevalent.
©Public Health England

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