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Tips to stay safe while out during Coronavirus restrictions

The Coronavirus has been shown to survive on surfaces for up to several days. While the risk of transmission from surfaces is low, it is still important to be mindful of what we touch when we leave the house.

Social distancing measures are a very effective way to reduce the potential spread of Coronavirus while you are at the shop or outside your home. To further reduce the risk, consider these practical tips to help you avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces while out, and bringing Coronavirus into your home.

Before leaving home

  • Plan your trip. Consider the quickest and easiest way in and out of your destination, what items you absolutely must take with you (leave the rest at home), how you will avoid other people and how you will avoid touching shared surfaces.
  • Take off all unnecessary jewellery or watches, especially items worn on or near your hands.
  • Take only the keys you need to use while you are out.
  • Swap your regular handbag for a smaller one with only essential items – credit card, phone, keys, hand sanitiser. Alternatively don’t take a bag at all and use pockets.
  • Put regularly used items such as credit card and phone in clear ziplock bags that you can throw away when you get home.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before you leave.

While out

  • Avoid handling cash. Use a debit or credit card and contactless payment.
  • If you have to open a door or push a button avoid using your hands. Try using your foot, hip, elbow or knuckle. Alternatively use a tissue or napkin as a barrier.
  • Keep your phone in your bag or pocket and only use it if absolutely necessary. Don’t put it down on a shared surface.
  • Use a plastic bag from the grocery store to handle and inspect fresh produce, or use disposable gloves.
  • Use the rule ‘if you touch it, you buy it’ for all items you pick up in the shop.

When you get home

  • Take off your shoes before entering the house.
  • Place all items from your trip, including keys and phone, in one location (a plastic tub is ideal).
  • Wash your hands.
  • Take out each item and wash or wipe down with soapy water, sanitiser or disinfectant.
  • Wash or wipe your reusable shopping bags.
  • Wipe over tub and surfaces.
  • Wipe over surfaces in your car that you have touched such as door handle, steering wheel, seatbelt, hand brake, gear stick and radio.

Other tips

  • Keep disposable gloves in the car for times when you have to touch a shared surface, such as filling your car with petrol or buying a parking ticket.
  • If you purchase a drink while out, don’t use the straw it comes with unless it is in sealed packaging.
  • Carry a pen if you are going somewhere you know you will need one, such as the bank or post office.

You may also be interested in Helpful hints and assistance during Coronavirus restrictions.

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