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More than 95% of Irish people are washing their hands more often

People have been encouraged to wash their hands more often due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Washing hands regularly is advised to help limit the spread of the virus (Philip Toscano/PA)

Washing hands regularly is advised to help limit the spread of the virus (Philip Toscano/PA)

Washing hands regularly is advised to help limit the spread of the virus (Philip Toscano/PA)

Almost 96% of people in Ireland are washing their hands more often because of concerns over Covid-19, research has found.

Public health experts say that everyone should be regularly washing their hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Research carried out by the Department of Health also found that 90% of people say they will continue to wash their hands frequently after the pandemic ends.

Senior government official Liz Canavan said on Tuesday that social distancing and hygiene measures will be a feature in our lives as the country attempts to reopen over the coming months.

She added: “Preventing infection of Covid-19 is now on everyone’s mind. Recent research undertaken by the Department of Health shows that in relation to safe behaviours, 96% of people are washing their hands more often as a result of Covid-19.

“We want people to keep on going with hand hygiene, help your children to learn good hand hygiene and help us to stop the spread of Covid-19 and other infections.”

She also said that the Health Service Executive (HSE) has been getting a lot of queries about wearing disposable gloves in public.

“They have advised that a key message for hand hygiene day, is that they do not recommend using gloves while doing your shopping or when you are out and about,” Ms Canavan added.

“If there are bugs on your gloves, these bugs often end up in your hands when you take the gloves off and from there, they can be very easily end up on your mouth, nose and eyes.

“It’s much better to clean your hands regularly and properly.

“This is one of the many things, along with social distancing, that each of us can do to contribute to allow us to exit safely and smoothly over the coming weeks from the current situation.”

If there are bugs on your gloves, these bugs often end up in your hands when you take the gloves off and from there, they can be very easily end up on your mouth, nose and eyesLiz Canavan

During the government briefing, Ms Canavan also said that almost 52,100 employers are now registered for the temporary wage subsidy scheme.

More than 427,400 employees have now received at least one payment under the scheme.

Ms Canavan said this does not include additional employees who may have received a substitute as a result of payments generated today.

“Between yesterday and today, revenue-generated payments to employers under the scheme of 68.7 million euro,” she said.

“These are the final payments made under the transitional phase of the scheme, whereby eligible employers are reimbursed a maximum subsidy of 410 euro in respect of each eligible employee, regardless of the employee’s income.”

PA