Why you shouldn’t wear gloves to shop


In the days since virus restrictions were announced you might have noticed increasing numbers of people wearing gloves to shop at the supermarket or grocery store in a bid to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

After all, studies have shown the virus can survive on surfaces for between three and nine days - depending on the material.

But while it might seem like a good idea, the experts will tell you it is not. In fact, wearing gloves could increase your chances of infection, according to a British medic.

National Health Service (NHS) surgeon Dr Karan Rangarajan, who has tens of thousands of followers on social media, has made a Tik Tok video explaining why hand washing beats gloves every time.

Dr Karan Rangarajan’s glove video has received more than 21,000 likes. Picture: Tik Tok
Dr Karan Rangarajan’s glove video has received more than 21,000 likes. Picture: Tik Tok


"'You've got your gloves, you're at the supermarket, you're touching things ... there you go - germs," Dr Rangarajan says in the video.

"You keep touching more things throughout same day with these same gloves? Germs everywhere. You're accumulating germs.

"Your glove is now more full of germs than your hand would've been if you washed it each time.

"Remember, with these same gloves, you'll be touching your steering wheel … you might accidentally touch your face, transferring the germs to yourself.

"'And then when you're changing the gloves, you might actually be touching the glove itself.

"Just wash your hands, be sensible, stay safe."

It's advice most experts agree on.

Australian virologist Ian Mackay warned there were misconceptions about the level of protection things like masks and gloves could offer against the virus in a Twitter thread at the weekend.

"If you wear latex/vinyl gloves while out, realise you have added a surface on which virus is likely to last for *longer* than on your hands (perhaps only 30 minutes at most)," Dr Mackay wrote.

"And as with any PPE (personal protective equipment) you choose to wear - be it masks or gloves or Tyvek suits - dispose them carefully *into* a rubbish bin.

"Don't leave them lying around for others to come into contact with, therefore putting *them* at risk. Then immediately sanitise your hands."


Last week, US infectious disease expert Dr Marc Siegel said prefers constant hand sanitisation and washing over wearing gloves to protect himself during the coronavirus outbreak.

"Gloves accumulate germs, gloves accumulate viruses," Dr Siegel told Fox News. He was responding to a viewer's question about whether it was necessary to don gloves before venturing to the grocery store.