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Heat-health alert issued by Public Health England

Public Health England has today issued a heat-health alert as the Met Office forecasts high temperatures for the coming days.

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PHE warns of increased health risks as hot weather extends to Friday

Public Health England (PHE) has extended its heat-health alert to Friday 23 July as the Met Office forecasts hot weather will continue for a few more days.

Much of England can expect hot weather, particularly in the South West and parts of southern and central England. High temperatures are also expected to persist in these areas overnight offering little respite throughout this period.

Health risks can increase over a prolonged period of heat. PHE has issued a Level 3 heat-health alert which is supported by an amber extreme heat warning issued today by the Met Office.

Dr Owen Landeg, Scientific and Technical Lead at PHE, said:

Everybody can be affected by high temperatures and most people are aware of good health advice for coping with hot weather. However, it’s important to keep checking on those who are most vulnerable such as older people and those with heart or lung conditions.

As we experience the first hot weather episode of the year, it’s important for everyone to remember to adapt their behaviours. This is particularly important during the pandemic with many people self-isolating.

Most of us want to enjoy the sun. Remember to look out for signs of heat exhaustion and follow our simple health advice to beat the heat.

Chief Operational Meteorologist at the Met Office Steven Ramsdale said:

The high temperatures are going to continue through a large part of this week, with temperatures regularly in the high 20s and low 30s Celsius by day, along with high overnight temperatures.

Many areas of the UK will continue to reach heatwave thresholds, and whilst the highest temperatures are likely to be in central and southern parts of the UK, some of the most unusually high temperatures are likely to be seen over parts of the west, particularly over Northern Ireland. There’s also a continuing risk of isolated thundery downpours late in the afternoons but most should stay dry until later in the week. Temperatures should fall for most areas into the weekend along with some more unsettled conditions also looking to develop.

The top ways for staying safe during a heatwave are to:

  • look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk

  • stay cool indoors: many of us may need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool

  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors

  • use cool spaces considerately if going outdoors, and wash your hands regularly

  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol

  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals

  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest

  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat

  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day

  • make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling

  • take care and follow local safety advice if you are going into open water to cool down – during warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief

  • remember that while coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are in place, you will need to follow any additional government guidance to use public spaces safely

Previous

Thursday 15 July 2021

Much of England is forecast to experience very warm weather from Saturday night through to Tuesday morning.

Dr Owen Landeg, Scientific and Technical Lead at PHE, said:

Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense and for many people spells of warmer weather are something they very much enjoy. However, for some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks. That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk.

If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support. Also take water with you when travelling and keep up to date with weather forecasts.

It’s also worth remembering the practical steps to keep homes cool during the day as this can aid sleeping at night and give the body time to recover from the heat.

Will Lang, Head of Civil Contingencies at the Met Office, said:

Across most parts of the UK we’re expecting to see temperatures building, reaching heatwave thresholds across the majority of England over the weekend. High temperatures will remain a feature of the forecast until Tuesday, when fresher conditions arrive curtailing heatwave levels.

The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:

  • look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated; older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  • stay cool indoors – many of us may need to stay safe at home this summer, so know how to keep your home cool
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • use cool spaces considerately if going outdoors, and wash your hands regularly
  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • make sure you take water with you if you are travelling
  • during warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief; take care and follow local safety advice if you are going into open water to cool down
  • remember that while coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are in place, you will need to follow any additional government guidance to use public spaces safely
Published 15 July 2021
Last updated 20 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Heat-health alert extended to Friday.

  2. Added latest update.

  3. First published.