Only Two in 10 Wash Their Hands to Protect Others, Impacting People and Businesses
In connection to the Global Handwashing Day 2020, Essity is releasing new facts on hand hygiene from their global hygiene and health survey performed in July 2020. It is clear that COVID-19 has had major impact on people’s behavior, not the least on hand hygiene. Two out of three have changed the way they wash their hands, with 75 percent saying that they wash their hands more often. But is it enough?
Who do You wash your hands for?
Hand hygiene is essential in combatting diseases, and we now have global results from more than 10,000 people confirming a positive change in hand hygiene behavior. However, 77 percent say they wash their hands only to protect themselves. A majority also only wash their hands after they have done something, e.g. 78 percent say they wash their hands after visiting a public place, meanwhile only 38 percent say they wash their hands before going to a public place. A sign that people may be more concerned with their own hands being contaminated than considering they are potentially contaminating others.
“Despite a great solidarity with frontline workers during this pandemic, the survey results indicate that we could do more when it comes to washing our hands for others. Hand hygiene is a crucial tool in our efforts to maintain healthy communities. I hope we maintain our increased frequency of hand hygiene throughout the pandemic and afterwards”, says Carolyn Berland, PhD, Global Brand Innovation Manager, Essity Professional Hygiene.
Hand hygiene impacts business reputation in the new normal
When re-opening or attracting customers, hand hygiene practices have now become essential to making customers feel safe and secure. During COVID-19 the expectation on hygiene standards has increased. With six in 10 survey respondents having increased their hygiene expectations of restaurants and cafes, and the same percentage feeling more secure knowing details about hand hygiene practices in public spaces.