The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm, and while we’re slowly but surely turning back to a sense of normality, a sense of familiarity among the world and the economy – plenty of things have changed, and will continue to change in our daily lives.
Many European countries are getting back on their feet, and the UK included. Although this is a step in the right direction for countries across the world, there is no doubt that many businesses have suffered severely since lockdowns and restrictions were put in place.
The travel industry, and the hospitality industry have been impacted the most, but as more people start venturing outside, a slow recovery is expected.
Social distancing is a given, and strict rules within buildings and commercial properties will apply but what about the hotspots such as public bathrooms, restaurants, bars?
These hotspots are at higher risk of contamination due to the amount of hight traffic it receives from individuals.
For bars and restaurants for example, physical touching of glasses, tables, the bar itself and other items is a given – so it means temperature checks, social distancing between tables, face masks and digital ordering to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Should We Avoid Public Washrooms?
Public washrooms were still hotspot to contract germs, bacteria, and potential viruses. Evidently with the outbreak of the coronavirus, public washrooms were closed to reduce further contamination by the things we touch.
With the re-opening of them, many people are cautious and anxious about using them, because of the risks they pose. With shared airspaces, we breathe in the air that could in fact put us at risk of some airborne diseases such as the flu.
In hindsight, public washrooms have always been a place where people should be extremely careful because it’s a demanding environment and it is used by many different people each day.
We would recommend avoiding public washrooms as we ease out of the pandemic, but if they are required, make sure you take extra precautions and you maintain high standards of hand hygiene or at the very least, ensure the washroom you’re using is a green washroom and features the latest in hygiene technology e.g. includes automatic soap dispensers, automatic tap sensors).
Can We Contract Covid19 By Using Public Washrooms?
There is not a definite answer to this question, as covid19 is a new disease which means researchers and scientists are still studying it.
There isn’t enough research that has been carried out in regard to coming into contact with it or contracting covid19 in public and shared washrooms.
What we do know of the virus, with the research we have conducted so far, is that contact with contaminated surfaces isn’t believed to the primary source of transmission.
Furthermore, it is important to note that research is still being carried out by scientists all across the globe so we need to be extra careful with restrictions until research has been confirmed.
Below are some tips to stay safe in public washrooms and restrooms.
Tips to Stay Safe in Public Washrooms
Taking extra precautions when you’re out in public is incredibly important. While many shops, restaurants and bars have re-opened in the UK, this doesn’t mean we are safe from the virus.
Always adhere to social distancing, even when it is not specifically advised – this means standing 2 metres, which is essentially 3 steps, away from other people.
Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are NOT clean, this is why face coverings must be worn in public places.
We have listed a few other helpful tips below when you’re in a public washroom, but you can also apply some to public spaces too.
If you’re unsure on any restrictions or rules, please visit the GOV website for more coronavirus information. Please also remember to look after your health and wellbeing, physically and mentally during this time. You can check out this article on mental health during COVID19.
- Always carry your own hand sanitiser to use before and after using the washroom
- Do not go to the bathroom directly after someone else, use a different cubicle if possible or wait 1 – 2 minutes before using one someone has already used
- Choose larger public washrooms because these are more spacious and therefore have more air circulation
- As you should at home, close the toilet lid after flushing as it will reduce toilet flume
- Use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 30 seconds. If the washroom has automatic dispensers and taps, use those rather than physically touch items
- If available, wear gloves and a face mask
- Make sure to maintain social distancing measures in the washroom