Handwashing and how to avoid contact


Hand-washing has been encouraged by the government before any other precaution against coronavirus was brought in, and is still recommended as best practise even amongst the recent more extreme measures.

It is particularly vital for the many industries and workers who cannot work from home, such as NHS frontline workers, supermarkets, petrol stations and warehouses.

Why is it so necessary, and how should it be done properly?

We’ve all heard the advice: use soap and running water, and wash for at least 20 seconds. (Here is a great video showing you the correct method.)

According to the Unicef website, this is when you should wash them:

“In the context of COVID-19 prevention, you should make sure to wash your hands at the following times:

  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After visiting a public space, including public transportation, markets and places of worship
  • After touching surfaces outside of the home, including money
  • Before, during and after caring for a sick person
  • Before and after eating

In general, you should always wash your hands at the following times:

  • After using the toilet
  • Before and after eating
  • After handling garbage
  • After touching animals and pets
  • After changing babies’ diapers or helping children use the toilet
  • When your hands are visibly dirty”

But why is soap and running water the preferred method, over, for example, alcohol-based hand sanitiser?

Soap is effective because it dissolves the fatty membrane of the virus, making it fall apart and become inactive. It also stops the virus from binding to your skin so that it can be washed away.

Alcohol-based products work in a very similar way and can be just as effective at rendering the virus inactive.

However, to truly cover your hands in alcohol solution requires a lot more product than the small amount of soap you need to make a lather. This is why alcohol wipes or hand sanitiser is a second-choice method compared to soap for hand-washing.

Obviously, these cleaning precautions are only effective when the virus is outside your body. This is most commonly caused by people sneezing or coughing and not covering their mouths, which leaves active virus splattered everywhere. If you touch this surface and then do not clean your hands, the virus can go into your body and infect you.


Here at Time and Attendance UK, we have several different options which can be integrated into your attendance management and access control systems in order to minimise physical contact with other people and potentially unclean surfaces.

These include:

  • An online clocking-in system, the Self-Service Module (SSM), for remote workers
  • Contactless radio-frequency smartcards, which can be read from a distance while still inside a pocket
  • A Fire Roll Call App which enables you to monitor employee presence during a drill without requiring them all to stand together in one place
  • Unmanned Reception App, to protect receptionists from undue exposure
  • Facial recognition software to minimise the need to face-to-face verification

If you’d like any more information, please ring +44 (0)1480 215530 , email us via the contact form, or book a demo. We provide online product demos and training once purchased, so that no unnecessary contact will take place.