Government brings back Chris Whitty to deliver ‘Stay home’ TV message

Professor Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, has recorded a new TV warning as virus cases rise.

Professor Chris Whitty: chief medical officer for England
Professor Chris Whitty: chief medical officer for England

The government has rushed out a fresh ad campaign urging the public to ‘Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives’ after the latest surge in the number of cases of Covid-19 in England.

The campaign includes a message recorded by England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, which was scheduled to air on ITV on the night of Friday 8 January.

Speaking to camera, Whitty warns the public that the virus, especially the new variant, is spreading quickly across the country and states: “Once more, we must all stay at home.”

The ad, from MullenLowe, opens and closes with the "Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives" warning-notice-style graphic.

It was created by Jane Briers and Dave Cornmell, and directed by David Barr through Kode Media. The media is handled by OmniGov.

The Department of Health and Social Care said the “massive” public information campaign would also run across radio, out of home and social media from Friday and would urge the public to “act like you’ve got [the virus]”.

It said the number of Covid-19 in-patients in hospital in England had risen by 11,000 in under two weeks to hit 28,246 on 7 January, the highest number to date at that point, although the total has since risen further.

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