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Fears over lack of translated virus guidance

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A lack of translated coronavirus guidance is jeopardising the safety of non-English speakers in the UK, a joint letter to the health secretary claims.

The government said it has translated public health information into 25 languages, reaching a "wide audience".

But campaigners say it is a "limited range of languages" and the translations can take weeks to be updated when advice or rules change.

One charity said the government has so far shown "no engagement" on the issue.

More than four million people in England and Wales do not consider English to be their main language, including more than 860,000 people who speak little or no English, according to the most recent official figures .

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In the UK, 88 languages other than English are spoken as a main language.

A government spokesperson said it "wouldn’t be feasible" to provide translations of all of these languages but that it had translated some of its "key messages" around coronavirus into the most common languages spoken in the UK. No translations of ‘stay alert’ advice But translations have become outdated as guidance has been updated.For example, in March the government provided guidance on social distancing in 11 languages, including Welsh, Urdu, Arabic and Bengali. But this advice was withdrawn on 1 May as guidance changed, and the current social distancing guide for England – which is titled "staying alert and safe" – has not been translated by the government.Other current guidance that has not been translated by the government includes information on the NHS Test and Trace programme and the rules on wearing face coverings .The government said it was "committed to ensuring people across the UK receive […]

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