Judi Dench and Emma Thompson share simple Covid test we can ALL do before Christmas to check for signs

CELEBRITIES have urged Brits to do a simple Covid test before spending Christmas with their loved ones.

Screen stars such as Dame Judi Dench, Emma Thompson and Robert Lindsay have united to spread festive cheer in the form of a handy how to video on how to check for signs of the coronavirus.

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The key symptoms of the coronavirus are a loss of taste and smell, a high temperature and a new persistent cough.

Data from the ZOE Symptom Tracker App, which is led by Professor Tim Spector at King's College London states that around 60 per cent of people who contract the virus experience anosmia – a loss of taste and smell.

Prof Spector urged people to take the simple smell test before hugging granny this Christmas.

He said that testing yourself could be the easiest way to keep your family safe.

You can take the test yourself by smelling anything from food, candles, drinks or even smelly socks!

The start of the video shows Emma Thompson, known for her roles in Love Actually and Harry Potter, pouring herself a glass of wine, before sniffing it a couple of times.

Dame Judi, who recently appeared in the move Cats, is then seen sniffing some flowers moving from bud to bud to pick up the scent.

Robert Lindsay, known for his starring role in My Family, is also seen picking up a candle sniffing it – but struggles to detect any scent.

The video then states: "60 per cent of people with Covid-19 will experience a loss or change in their sense of smell or taste."

Prof Spector then states that it could be the "most important thing" that you test yourself for and your family for this Christmas.

The video comes as data from the ZOE app released today revealed that that while some areas are still showing falling rates, there are two higher risk areas in the UK – Wales and London, where rates are increasing with current R-values of 1.2. 


Based on analysis, the team states that Christmas day figures for Wales predicts 268 new cases per 100,000 each day and 122 per 100,000 each day for London.

This, the researchers states, means that by Christmas, around one in 39 people in Wales will be infections and one in 86 in London.

This compares to a national average of around one in 70.

Prof Spector said that the figures were the "very much reasonable best case scenario".

He said: "The data suggests we can’t treat Christmas exactly the same in different places as the risks of encountering someone with the virus varies.

"Sadly, Christmas 2020 won’t be a normal Christmas. People should stay in small groups where possible, avoid travelling to and from higher risk areas and socialise outdoors.

"People also need to know about the 20+ symptoms of early infection they can experience including fatigue and headache and use our free app to guide them, and not take risks.


"There are no exceptions, everyone needs to take care, but we are urging those in the regions we have identified as even higher risk to consider limiting their plans this Christmas.”

Brits are able to take a five day Christmas break over the festive period – where they can gather with their loved ones.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night warned those in Tier 3 areas should avoid travelling to Tier 2 or 1 areas.

In guidance issued last night, the Government said: "If you are forming a Christmas bubble, you should consider carefully the risks of travelling at all.

"If you live in an area with the highest level of protection, for example, Tier 3 in England, you should avoid travelling to lower prevalence areas where possible."

The rules for the season – which differ across England, Scotland and Wales – have caused festive headaches for families desperately hoping to see each other.

And yesterday, the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments have issued a rare joint statement warning: "This cannot be a normal Christmas".

Officials want people seeing different bubbles for Christmas to cut all unnecessary social contact from at least the 20th – or earlier if there are plans to meet on the 23rd.

Bubbles must be decided in advance and can't be changed – although Brits can travel between tiers and nations, as long as it's within the rules.

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