Fist bumping officially not considered high-risk contact

Fist bumping officially not considered high-risk contact
Credit: Pikrepo

Giving someone a fist bump in greeting is not considered a high-risk contact, according to new official advice by the Flemish Scientific Association for Youth Health Care (VWVJ).

The guidelines created by the VWVJ are used to advise contact tracers in the Flemish Centres for Pupil Guidance (CLB), which in turn map out to which extent pupils and teachers have contact with infected people at school.

"Young people know that they are not allowed to shake hands, but sometimes they bump fists as an alternative," Anouk Vanlander of the VWVJ told Het Nieuwsblad.

"Together with Sciensano and the Agency for Care and Health, we are now advising them not to consider this as a high risk," she said. "The contact between the hands is too fleeting for that."

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However, that does not mean that people should all start fist-bumping in greeting now, as physical contact with people outside your own household should be avoided, Vanlander said.

"It is still much better to wave or, for example, put your hand on your heart," she said, adding that bumping feet or using the elbow greeting is still safer, as there is no contact through people's hands or faces.

Research at the Aberystwyth University - conducted in 2014, well before the coronavirus started spreading - already showed that people transmit 90% fewer bacteria by fist-bumping than with a classic handshake.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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