The main way COVID-19 spreads from person to person is through contact with respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets may fall directly onto the person’s eyes, nose or mouth if they are in close contact with the infected person. Airborne transmission of COVID-19 can also occur, with the greatest risk in indoor, crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces. A person may also be infected if they touch a surface contaminated with the COVID-19 virus and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes before washing their hands. Research shows that the COVID-19 virus can survive on some surfaces for prolonged periods of time.
A key way you can protect workers yourself and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by practicing good hygiene. Below are measures to ensure good hygiene in your workplace.
A key way you can protect yourself, your colleagues and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by practising good hygiene.
Good hygiene requires washing your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them completely, preferably with a clean, single use paper towel. If paper towels are unavailable, other methods such as electric hand dryers can be used, however, hands will still need to be dried completely.
You must wash and dry your hands:
- before and after eating
- after coughing or sneezing
- after going to the toilet, and
- when changing tasks and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.
When it is not possible to wash hands, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient must be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Good hygiene also requires you to, at all times:
- cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a clean tissue (and no spitting)
- avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth
- dispose of tissues and cigarette butts hygienically, e.g. in closed bins
- wash and dry hands completely before and after smoking a cigarette
- wash and dry hands completely before and after interacting with customers
- clean and disinfect shared equipment after use
- wash body, hair (including facial hair) and clothes thoroughly every day
- have no intentional physical contact, for example, shaking hands and patting backs. You should tie long hair back to prevent it touching customers
- not attend work is you are feeling unwell.
For information on the measures your employer should be implementing, see our employer information for cinemas.