Interim Report on hand hygiene practices in Northern Ireland during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.

Research output: Other contribution


The ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is one of the most significant
public health challenges in a generation.
 Adequate hand hygiene practice and compliance is known as being one of the most effective self-protective behaviours in preventing transmission of COVID-19.
 However, thermal observation of UK members of the general population (n = 498) between 10-20th March 2020 indicated that despite the nationwide impact of the pandemic, the overall hand hygiene compliance of the general population was
wholly inadequate.
 The interim findings indicated that 82.93% of the general population are practicing inadequate hand hygiene compliance as per this ongoing study.
 This is despite the numerous public health communication campaigns encouraging people to spend longer washing their hands and to wash hands thoroughly in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
 These interim findings suggest that current public health communication campaigns focusing on hand hygiene behaviour and compliance have not had the desired impact and may need revised or re-enforced in order to improve the overall hand hygiene behaviour and compliance of the general population.
 A major focus should be on improving the length of time members of the general population spend washing and drying hands, and to use children as possible promotional role models for adequate hand hygiene compliance (44.44% compliance rate) for adults (14.35% compliance rate).
 If adherence to adequate hand hygiene compliance by the general population in the UK improves, then this could not only help slow the spread of the pandemic but also lessen the burden on our National Health Service (NHS).
Original languageEnglish
TypeSubmission of research evidence on public handwashing behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Media of outputUK Parliament COVID-19 Committee
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 20 Apr 2020


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