Coronavirus: What precautions should I take if I need to fill up with fuel?

Current rules mean that the UK population is being asked to stay indoors whenever possible, only venturing out of the front door to buy food or medicine, exercise once per day, to receive medical help, or to help someone who is vulnerable.

All businesses that are not deemed essential have also been asked to close down, and employees who do not work in essential sectors should either work from home or not work at all.

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Pictures of the week: March 29 - April 4
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Pictures of the week: March 29 - April 4
Artist Rachel List with her mural supporting the NHS on the side of Horse Vaults pub in Pontefract, Yorkshire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Janet Woodcock holds a social distance dancing event with the residents of Springbourne in Frodsham, Cheshire as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Photo taken at 10:56am of medical staff at an NHS drive through coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility in an IKEA car park, Wembley as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Local resident Alex Girdwood working on her plot at Mudchute Allotments on the Isle of Dogs, east London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Ambulances outside the Harrogate Convention Centre that is being converted to take up to 500 patients from Yorkshire and the north-east of England, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
ROMFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Fallow deer from Dagnam Park rest and graze on the grass outside homes on a housing estate in Harold Hill, near Romford on April 02, 2020 in Romford, England. The semi-urban deer are a regular sight in the area around the park but as the roads have become quieter due to the nationwide lockdown, the deer have staked a claim on new territories in the vicinity. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
A London Ambulance worker wearing PPE cleans an ambulance after a patient is brought into St Thomas' Hospital in London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Jack Tucker, 7, places his rainbow in the window of a house in Bedminster, Bristol as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A coronavirus notice in a shop doorway in Bristol as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A temporary mortuary which being built in Manor Flats in the Manor Park area of Newham in east London as the number of deaths from Covid-19 in the UK surpassed two thousand.
A solo skater exercises in a makeshift skate park on a derelict car wash site in Bristol as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A cyclist passes street art in Stokes Croft, Bristol, as the UK enters the second week of lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
London ambulances line a street in Westminster, London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Customers observing social distancing in the queue for a supermarket in Westminster, London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Sid Lovatt with his 3D printed protective mask that he has been supplying to front-line workers, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A woman wearing a face mask walks past an open shop in St Pauls, Bristol, as the UK enters the second week of lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
A Taylor Wimpey housing development in Telford where building work has ceased as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Sold out delivery spots as the ASDA website is pictured on a laptop as Supermarket websites are overwhelmed by online orders during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A paramedic wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) exits an ambulance outside St Thomas' Hospital in Westminster, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A food parcel and notecard prepared for those less fortunate in Cheltenham as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People using the towpath along the River Lea beside Hackney Marshes, in east London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Clementine Sage(L) and Lucy Paterson perform Muay Thai in Kevingrove Park in Glasgow as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A motorist wearing a face mask drives through the streets of Glasgow as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A COVID-19 sign instructing walkers to observe a 2 metre gap on Wimbledon Common and Putney Heath as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People walk along the beach in Broadstairs, Kent, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People walk down Market Street, Manchester as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A woman runs past closed kiosks in Scarborough as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Roads are deserted in Bournemouth as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A message left by an eight year old girl on a beach groyne in Whitstable, Kent, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
An empty stretch of the M5 motorway in Strensham, Worcestershire as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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However, if you are a key worker or you need to head out for essential items, then you are going to have to fill your car up with fuel at some point. Here's how to stay safe when filling up.

Opt for contactless payment

Contactless payment, by its very nature, reduces the amount of contact you need to make when paying for fuel. Many filling stations now offer it, allowing you to simply tap your card to pay for fuel. Of course, this is limited to £30 in most instances.

Fuel strike
Some fuel suppliers – such as Shell and BP – also have their own smartphone app which allows you to pay for fuel, meaning you can reduce your exposure even further.

Use hand sanitiser or cleaning wipes

Though hand sanitiser is hard to come across at the moment, if you do have some then this is the time to make the most of it. Remember to sanitise your hands prior to leaving the vehicle, and use the wipes to clean down the steering wheel and any other touch points too – such as the central armrest and buttons.

Also, it's best to use hand sanitiser thoroughly after refuelling to reduce the chances of transferring anything from the pump into your car.

Use gloves or paper towels to use fuel pump

It's best practice to use gloves if they're supplied at the filling station when putting fuel into your car. If these aren't available, then make use of the paper towels which should be there and wrap the pump in these.

Once you're done, we'd advise putting these gloves or paper towels straight into the bin. It's also a good idea to use an antibacterial wipe to clean areas such as the pump handle itself, and any other places you've come into contact with. Again, when you're finished with the wipes put them straight into the bin.

Fill your car to the brim

Rather than filling up with a certain amount, it's best at this time to fill your car to the brim. By doing this, it means you don't have to visit the petrol station as often, therefore reducing your exposure. It also means that if you do need to make a last-minute emergency trip, then your car is all good to go.

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