Contact patterns of UK home delivery drivers and their use of protective measures during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study

Jessica R E Bridgen, Hua Wei, Carl Whitfield, Yang Han, Ian Hall, Chris P Jewell, Martie J A van Tongeren, Jonathan M Read

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To quantify contact patterns of UK home delivery drivers and identify protective measures adopted during the pandemic.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey to measure the interactions of 170 UK delivery drivers during a working shift between 7 December 2020 and 31 March 2021.

RESULTS: Delivery drivers had a mean number of 71.6 (95% CI 61.0 to 84.1) customer contacts per shift and 15.0 (95% CI 11.2 to 19.2) depot contacts per shift. Maintaining physical distancing with customers was more common than at delivery depots. Prolonged contact (more than 5 min) with customers was reported by 5.4% of drivers on their last shift. We found 3.0% of drivers had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 since the start of the pandemic and 16.8% of drivers had self-isolated due to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. In addition, 5.3% (95% CI 2.3% to 10.2%) of participants reported having worked while ill with COVID-19 symptoms, or with a member of their household having a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

CONCLUSION: Delivery drivers had a large number of face-to-face customer and depot contacts per shift compared with other working adults during this time. However, transmission risk may be curtailed as contact with customers was of short duration. Most drivers were unable to maintain physical distance with customers and at depots at all times. Usage of protective items such as face masks and hand sanitiser was widespread.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-338
Number of pages6
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume80
Issue number6
Early online date13 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Pandemics/prevention & control
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology

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