As the British Cleaning Council (BCC) we recognise our responsibility to help support a safe and healthy Britain. We ask all our members, our staff, colleagues and the general public to be vigilant during the Coronavirus outbreak, and to take appropriate precautions to protect and prevent the spread of this latest virus.

The BCC and its members have a huge part to play in safeguarding the British population and ensuring the spread of the virus is restricted by supporting robust hygiene practices, effective cleaning schedules and systems and of course, promoting the advice being circulated by its members and on the World Health Organisation website and the NHS website.

The BCC would also like to reiterate the basic protective measures against the new coronavirus as detailed by the World Health Organisation:

Wash your hands frequently

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub eliminates the virus if it is on your hands.

Practice respiratory hygiene

When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever. When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like 2019-nCoV, coughs or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Tell your health care provider if you have travelled in an area in China where 2019-nCoV has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone with who has travelled from China and has respiratory symptoms. Whenever you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing it’s important to seek medical attention promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Respiratory symptoms with fever can have a range of causes, and depending on your personal travel history and circumstances, 2019-nCoV could be one of them.

If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within China then carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered, if possible.

Practice general hygiene measures when visiting live animal markets, wet markets or animal product markets.

Ensure regular hand washing with soap and potable water after touching animals and animal products; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands; and avoid contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products. Strictly avoid any contact with other animals in the market (e.g., stray cats and dogs, rodents, birds, bats). Avoid contact with potentially contaminated animal waste or fluids on the soil or structures of shops and market facilities.

Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products

Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

Read the World Health Organisation’s latest advice here.

Read the latest NHS advice here.

If you need any further information or advice, or indeed wish to contract any of our member associations then please contact us on info@britishcleaningcouncil.org