A parcel accompanied by a ‘stop’ symbol

Leaving viruses to die. It can take up to 3 days (72 hours) for the coronavirus to completely die on hard surfaces – such as cardboard, plastic or metal. If you can wait 3 days, then the risk of catching the virus is at its lowest.

If there are things that you can’t clean, can you put them somewhere out of the way for 3 days before you use them? If 3 days isn’t possible, then aim for as long as you can. As soon as the virus leaves our bodies it starts to die so even after 1 day it is much weaker than it was before

Of course it’s not possible to leave everything for 3 days, so the other option is to clean hard surfaces with disinfectant. Fruit and vegetables should be washed in water and given a rub with your hands.

To find out more about disinfectants and washing fabrics, look at ‘Reducing illness 2’ at the end of this section.

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