It's time for #SummerSense while enjoying the holidays and the warm weather

Being cautious while enjoying the summer months will be critical to avoid a surge in cases and help end the pandemic

UNICEF ECARO
SummerSense
UNICEF Turkmenistan
18 June 2021

After a challenging year, many countries across Europe and Central Asia are easing COVID-19 restrictions and getting ready for the summer. Enthusiasm for travel, seeing friends, and family are high; however, being cautious while enjoying the summer months will be critical to avoid a surge in cases and help end the pandemic.

"We have all and especially children, have gone through stressful and tough times in the last year. Children want to play with their friends and be with their families. If we remain vigilant over the summer, we can enjoy time with our loved ones and we don’t risk reversing progress against the pandemic."

Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia

The COVID-19 vaccination drive has provided some of us with a certain level of protection, but many people have still not been immunised. COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing severe illnesses and deaths. But it is still not clear to what extent it prevents vaccinated people from getting infected and transmitting the virus to others. Additionally, as vaccination coverage in several countries remains low, it is critical to accelerate vaccination and practise all recommended measures to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.

Children are at lower risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19 compared to adults. However, they can be infected, get sick, and transmit the virus to others. Caregivers, even those who are immunised, and children themselves should continue the protective measures against infection throughout the summer and until most people are vaccinated.

“COVID-19 reached children and families far beyond those it directly infected. Many children lost family members, were deprived of an education and critical health services, including routine vaccinations. The pandemic isolated children from their social networks. Self-isolation worsened mental health, led to sleep problems, and reduced physical activity. Some may have been exposed to increased violence at home. Ensuring that children are protected throughout summer is important for a safe return to school, which is key to their development,"

continues Afshan Khan
SummerSense
UNICEF Turkmenistan

To protect our children, especially the most vulnerable, during the summer break, UNICEF Europe and Central Asia has joined WHO/Europe in the #SummerSense campaign.

What #SummerSense means?

It means exercising common sense and being cautious in the activities we undertake, including:

  • Rethinking the need to travel, to reduce the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.
  • Assessing the risks at every step, from the time we leave the house to the moment we return home.
  • Taking precautions, such as washing our hands frequently, keeping a safe distance and wearing a mask, whenever keeping a safe distance from others is not possible.
  • Avoiding the three Cs: settings that are Closed, Confined or Crowded. Instead, we should choose to meet people outdoors whenever possible, or in open, ventilated spaces.