More than 40 per cent of people in the UK are worried about catching coronavirus from a petrol station, according to a new survey.
As a result of this, almost half of those in the country are now wearing gloves to refuel their car to lower the chance of transmission.
And though lockdown has caused millions of people to leave their cars parked up – and no longer needing fuel – an estimated 7.1 million key workers are still making regular journeys day to day. As a result, many people still need to visit a fuel station to top-up.
Clare Egan, head of motor product at insurer Admiral, said: "The UK is experiencing challenging and unknown times at the moment under lockdown and what once would have been a simple task of going for a drive, filling your car up with fuel, or visiting a relative now comes with its own set of risks and restrictions which is causing worry and distress amongst drivers, as the findings show.
"For many, staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel is the best way to stay safe, but of course for millions in the UK, this isn't an option. It's understandable that people would feel concerned when visiting a petrol station to fill up their car, especially as a key worker or someone taking care of vulnerable people, but following guidelines will reduce the risk to you and to others.
In total, from the 1,400 people surveyed by Admiral, 69 per cent think that you can catch coronavirus from a petrol pump. However, Public Health England recently stated that "Petrol pumps are no worse than other surfaces, although we do recommend people use gloves and wash their hands after using them."
There's been a sharp upswing in the number of people washing their hands after driving – now 77 per cent of respondents – though this should be nearer 100 per cent when taking government advice into account.
The number of drivers cleaning the inside of the driver's side door handle more than once a week has increased by 83 per cent since the outbreak, while there's been an increase of 78 per cent for drivers cleaning their steering wheels on a weekly basis too.
Yet despite these fears, 14 per cent were found to still be making non-essential journeys, with almost one in five of male respondents admitting this – contrasting with eight per cent of women.
Washing your hands before driving your car
Using gloves when arriving at the petrol station and when using the pump - some petrol stations are providing these for customers
Removing and disposing of gloves or put carefully away for washing before re-entering your car
Washing your hands as soon as possible after leaving the petrol station
If possible, carry anti-bacterial hand gel and/or disinfectant wipes with you and use regularly