Return of the handshake

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Return of the handshake
Image: Pixabay

Return of the handshake. The handshake is set to return after being “banned” early on in the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the coronavirus only three weeks after having bragged about shaking hands “with everyone” at a hospital. The hospital had confirmed cases of Covid present.

On the day that Boris bragged about shaking hands, the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said that handshakes and hugging were advised against.

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Throughout the pandemic, many people have focused on hand hygiene. For many people, it is their natural instinct to shake someone’s hand when they meet. For months now people have avoided handshakes. It looks like now though the handshake is set to make its return.

Polling company JL Partners, believe that the handshake is back. A company spokesperson commented: “In a focus group of younger voters, all but one said they were back to shaking hands and weren’t wearing masks – that ‘most people had now been vaccinated’, the risk was ‘much reduced’ and that it’s time to ‘live with it, get on with it’ and ‘get some sort of immunity up now”.

The spokesperson added: “It is the vaccine, and general covid fatigue (‘I hate Zoom’) which has sped this up.”


According to the study, older age groups are expected to be cautious still. According to JL Partners: “most said they were still avoiding handshakes, with a couple saying it made them ‘uneasy’ and that they ‘didn’t like it anyway’. But on masks and distancing, even this more cautious group were becoming more relaxed – ‘we’re all going to get Covid’ was the general point made.”

Many people admitted to carrying hand sanitiser and making use of it after shaking someone’s hand.


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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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