Leafleting is a reliable way to reach a large number of people, but also creates a risk that you will expose a large number of people to infection. Unless you carefully follow infection control procedures, you may do more harm than good.
The risks when leafleting are:
- spreading the infection from yourself (if you’re carrying it asymptomatically) to the leaflets and letterboxes you touch
- spreading it from one letterbox onto leaflets and other letterboxes.
You should be wary that anyone whose door you put a leaflet through could be immunocompromised, and assume that at least one person on any route is.
How to leaflet
You must not leaflet if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms and/or has tested positive for the virus.
When making leaflets:
- Wash your hands thoroughly any time you touch a leaflet, or paper that will become a leaflet, or anything that will touch a leaflet (your printer bed, a bag it goes in, etc).
- Disinfect anything that will touch a leaflet (eg. your printer bed) and then don’t touch it with hands that have touched anything that has not been disinfected.
- After printing, immediately put leaflets in a new or disinfected plastic bag (eg. ziploc bag) and seal until needed. Don't put them in your day to day bag unless they are sealed inside a clean bag.
- Disinfect your front door handles, keys, and anything else which you will touch as you leave the house.
- Wash your hands thoroughly. just before you leave the house.
- If possible, leaflet in pairs with another person who shares your house. One person should hold the bag and open gates, the other should take leaflets from the bag with one hand and open letter boxes with the other.
- If this is not possible, carry the bag of leaflets inside a freshly washed or disinfected shoulder bag, so that you can remove each leaflet while touching it only with one hand.
- Cover your nose and mouth with tightly woven cotton fabric.
- Be careful that you don't touch your face while leafletting.
- Keep the leaflets in the bag until needed and remove only one leaflet at a time.
- Don't talk when you have an unprotected leaflet in your hand, or hold the leaflets close to your mouth.
- Only one person should handle the leaflets from each ziplocked pack.
- Use one hand for handling leaflets, and use the other hand for opening letter boxes and touching other potentially-infected surfaces. You should sanitise or wash this hand as often as possible.
- If you can sanitise/wash your hands more frequently than you can change gloves, you should do this in preference to wearing gloves.
- If you can't clean your hands, but do have multiple pairs of gloves, you can use a glove on the hand which opens the letter box, and change this as frequently as possible.
- If using a glove, touch only the cuff with your bare skin while putting it on, and do not touch the exterior with your bare skin when you remove it. See glove protocol for instructions on how to do this.
- If using gloves, it is still equally important that you use one hand to handle the leaflets and the other for letter boxes.
- Wash your hands thoroughly again
- Disinfect your keys, front door handle and anything else you touched when entering the house.