The 15th of October 2020 is Global Handwashing Day. It seems incredible that, especially given current events, that we need an “awareness day” to advocate basic hygiene but – again, given current events – it’s definitely something worth taking a closer look at.

Global Handwashing Day started in 2008, in recognition that the availability of handwashing soap and the practice of using it was not universal. Since then, community and national leaders, in both private sector and governmental roles, use Global Handwashing Day to spread the word about handwashing, build sinks and taps, and demonstrate the importance of clean hands.

In 2020, living with a global pandemic, the importance of clean hands cannot possible be overstated. There are major concerns about the survivability of COVID on surfaces, with medical experts suggesting it could be as long as 72 hours, depending on the type of surface. For cardboard, one of the most commonly-used packaging materials, infectious virus is thought to remain for up to 24 hours.

This is long enough for an infected parcel to pass the virus from sender to collection driver, from collection driver to depot handling staff, or from delivery driver to recipient, if any one of them are infected, with the possibility of multiple infections along the way.

In order to help control the spread of the virus, we’re advising parcel handlers to exercise caution and common sense;

  • Regular handwashing, and wearing gloves if possible, while preparing parcels for parcel senders
  • All of our collection drivers have been equipped with hand sanitiser, to use after each collection
  • Parcel recipients should wash their hands after opening the parcel and again after disposing of it

The chance of transmission from parcels is only slight, however with the correct attention to hand hygiene, we can reduce the risk to couriers, handlers and recipients to a negligible level.