1 in 4 Brits admit they don’t wash their hands after coughing – despite coronavirus spread fears, study reveals

A QUARTER of Brits admit they don’t wash their hands after coughing – despite the ongoing pandemic.

Research also revealed 16 per cent of adults will sneeze while covering their mouths – but don’t sanitise afterwards.

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A quarter of British adults admit they don't wash their hands after coughing


A quarter of British adults admit they don’t wash their hands after coughingCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The study of 2,000 people found a third admitted the increase in Covid cases had no bearing on how important they thought it was to wash regularly.

In fact, while the average person spent 19 seconds soaping their hands in July following the first wave, this has now dropped to just 16 seconds.

But diligent adults are still washing and sanitising their hands eight times-a-day – the same as during the first lockdown.

The study, by hygiene services provider Citron Hygiene, also found that 43 per cent of adults said having to use an ‘away from home’ washroom has affected their decision to return to shops, restaurants, or bars.

This is despite more than half considering public spaces to be cleaner now than they were six months ago.


Hand sanitisers at the exits and motion sensors to keep things ‘hands free’ are among the top things that would help people feel more comfortable when using a public washroom.

Installing air cleaning systems to remove airborne bacteria and having something to open the door with other than your hand are also still popular choices.

Robert Guice, executive vice president, international, at Citron Hygiene said: “A lot has happened in the last few months.

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“Our hygiene and the way we fight germs is still as important now as it was back when we were emerging from the first lockdown.”

Our hygiene and the way we fight germs is still as important now as it was back when we were emerging from the first lockdown

Robert GuiceCitron Hygiene

The study also found that 55 per cent of adults claim to feel the same about washing or sanitising their hands now as they did earlier in the pandemic.

But 28 per cent have now become more relaxed because they haven’t become infected with the virus yet.

At the other end of scale, 45 per cent are more concerned about having good hygiene in a bid to avoid further or longer lockdowns.


According to the study conducted via OnePoll, two thirds believe the reason for an increase in coronavirus cases is because people have become more relaxed with their hygiene and social distancing.

More than half (53 per cent) even plan on staying at home more during the winter months regardless of whether or not the restrictions in their area are relaxed.

Four in 10 are less likely to use public transport in the future, compared to the 56 per cent who said the same in July, suggesting an increased confidence in the measures in place.

In light of the ever-changing lockdown rules, 47 per cent will be changing their future shopping habits to prevent catching or spreading the virus.

Robert added: “It’s comforting that a lot of people still have the same mindset, but it’s worrying to see that some have relaxed their hygiene practises or observation of social distancing rules as we enter the tenth month of the pandemic.

“We will definitely see a shift in the way people go about their daily lives from now on.

“And it is a reminder that simple things such as washing or sanitising our hands is so important, not only for our own health but for those around us too.”

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