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Disposable gloves and COVID-19

Do not wear disposable gloves instead of washing your hands. The virus gets on them in the same way it gets on your hands. Your hands can get contaminated when you take them off.

Disposable gloves are worn in medical settings. They are not as effective in daily life.

Do not wear gloves when shopping

You do not need to wear gloves in everyday situations like shopping.

Wearing disposable gloves can give you a false sense of security.

You might:

  • sneeze or cough into the gloves - this creates a new surface for the virus to live on
  • contaminate yourself when taking off the gloves or touching surfaces
  • not wash your hands as often as you need to
  • touch your face with contaminated gloves

The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is:

Read how to properly wash your hands and avoid infection.

When to wear gloves

When cleaning your home in general, it's ok to use disposable or reusable gloves. Follow the instructions on the label of your cleaning products.

If you are living with someone in self-isolation, you may have to care for them. Use disposable or rubber gloves when cleaning and disinfecting areas around them. You should also use gloves when collecting their dishes, laundry or rubbish.

When using gloves:

  • wash and dry reusable rubber gloves after each use while wearing them
  • put disposable gloves in the bin after using them. Do not reuse them
  • wash your hands properly with soap and water when you take off the gloves

Read more about self-isolation if you live with other people.

Read more about caring for someone who can't self-isolate.

Related topics

Shopping safely during the COVID-19 pandemic

How COVID-19 is spread

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

Last updated: 23 November at 12.10pm

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