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Coronavirus: How often should I wash my hands if I'm on lockdown?

With many people in the world on lockdown amid the Covid-19 crisis, a frequently-asked question is how often you need to wash your hands if you're not leaving the house.

SOMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 21: A patron washes their hands at the hand washing station at the entrance of the Safe Supply outdoor grocery store at Bow Market on March 21, 2020 in Somerville, Massachusetts. In order to comply with the city of Somerv
Maddie MeyerAFP

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the chief recommendations when it comes to avoiding catching the virus is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

But what if you're on lockdown and are now not being exposed to so many sources of infection, given that you're no longer leaving the house?

When to wash your hands while on lockdown?

You'll need to wash your hands in the following four instances: before eating, when you go to the bathroom, and if you cough or sneeze.

It is recommended that your handwash follow the guidelines given by health authorities. For example, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has posted the following how-to-wash-your-hands video on social media:

Wash with warm water and soap for around 20 seconds

First, wet your hands with warm water and apply enough soap that you can work up a lather that covers them entirely. Next, rub your palms together, scrub the backs of your hands, and clean the back of your fingers against the opposite palm.

After that, clasp and rotate each thumb in your other hand, clean between your fingers, and rub the tips of your fingers against your other palm. Finally, rinse your hands with plenty of water before drying them, preferably using a disposable towel.

Washing your hands should take you about 20 seconds. You can also further combat the spread of the virus by applying a hand-sanitising gel afterwards.

Live coverage of the coronavirus crisis

You can keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic by following our daily live blog.

Check out our in-depth guide to the coronavirus pandemic.


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