For many of us, grocery shopping is when we will come into contact with the highest number of people during the pandemic. The more people we encounter, the higher the risk of virus transmission. So, how do we keep safe when going to the shops?
To become infected, a person needs to be exposed to a certain number of virus particles, but we do not yet know exactly what this number is for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. You can be exposed to the virus by breathing it in, or by touching something with viral particles on it, and transferring it to your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Stay home if you can
Plan ahead so you don’t have to go to the shops often – and opt for home delivery if possible. If using them, put on your mask or gloves before you go into the store. Use surface cleaning wipes if you brought them, or use those provided in the shop to wipe the trolley or basket handle before you touch it. When queuing, keep a distance of two meters from other people.
Spend as little time in the shop as possible
Try to touch as few things as possible and do not linger for too long in the aisles – especially busy ones. Maintain your distance from others and do not touch your face. It’s fine to ask for help if you need it but try to avoid contact with other people as much as possible.
Keep contact to a minimum
Tills and self-checkouts will both have had lots of people touching them, so these are virus hotspots to avoid. Use contactless payment with a card or phone as much as possible so you don’t have to touch the card machine’s keypad.
Clean your hands
Once you have checked out and left the shop, remove your gloves and dispose of them if you were wearing them. Otherwise, you can wash your hands in the shop toilets or use hand sanitizer with between 60-95% alcohol. Then you can load the shopping in the car and head home.