Hygiene Products

How long does COVID 19 stay on surfaces?

According to PHE, under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours. There is no official confirmation on exactly how long COVID 19 stays on surfaces. The current guidance is an estimate and can vary depending on individual circumstances. However, by following best practice, having the right products and PPE you can significantly reduce the risk of infection.

Here is our top tips for reducing COVID 19 infection.

Washing Hands
Washing Hands

Firstly, washing hands for 40-60 seconds with soap or 20-30 seconds with hand sanitiser (60-80% IPA) will help remove or kill the virus. Importantly, ensuring you have soap and hand sanitiser in the right places will make a difference. For instance, in the workplace the main entrances and exits points are good sanitising spots. By adding visual aids to set out the standards and a touchless dispenser to reduce the risk of infection. Furthermore, kitchen area’s or other high use area’s such as a water dispenser, are ones to watch out for. Each workplace will be slightly different, it really does depend on your circumstances.

Hygiene Products

Secondly, having the right products is vital to reducing risk. For instance, some sprays and wipes do not actually kill COVID-19 as they are designed to remove bacteria not viruses. Look for EN14476 compliance, this is the normalised standard for disinfectants and antiseptics. A good example of a compliant wipe is Clinell Universal range. Clinell Universal Wipes and Clinell Antimicrobial Hand Wipes are effective against COVID-19 in 30 seconds. That means it’s important to understand contact time. (definition – CONTACT TIME is the length of time the surface being disinfected must remain wet for the disinfectant to work).

Note, remember that most wipes and sprays are not suitable for PC and Screens, meaning that either costly damage to equipment or a lack of sanitising, use Anti-bac+ Sanitising Screen Cleaning Wipes for specialised protection.

Breaking old habits…how long does COVID 19 stay on surfaces?
breaking habits

Now, you have the best practice, you have the products now it is about breaking lifetime habits. As tempting as it is to spray and wipe within seconds, it’s important to understand that the disinfectant needs time. Spraying a surface and then immediately wiping will reduce it’s effectiveness, however, leaving for correct minutes will allow time for the disinfectant to get to work.

Disinfectants will only be effective on a surface that does not have any visible dirt. In other words, having visible dirt is like spraying or wiping on the virus wearing a protection shield! Remove it’s PPE

Workplace Design
Office Protective Screen

Finally, redesigning the workspace is going to reduce the risk, reduce touch points by separation and introduce preventative measures with distancing. The practical solution in many cases will be new equipment, such as protective screens.

COVID-19 is an airborne virus, so the chances of catching it through water particles and fluid is reduced by screens, if they are placed correctly. In other words, humans’ spit, sneeze, cough etc, which makes the virus airborne for those in close proximately, protective screens reduce the chance of transmission.

Frequently asked questions about COVID 19

How long does COVID 19 stay on surfaces?

Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours – source: UK GOV

What are the signs and symptoms of this new virus?

The most common symptoms of this new coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

– a new continuous cough
– high temperature
– a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.

Some people may also experience muscle aches, tiredness and shortness of breath. Source: UK GOV

FACT: People should NOT wear masks while exercising 

People should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably.
Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms. The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance of at least one meter from others.

FACT: The likelihood of shoes spreading COVID-19 is very low

The likelihood of COVID-19 being spread on shoes and infecting individuals is very low. As a precautionary measure, particularly in homes where infants and small children crawl or play on floors, consider leaving your shoes at the entrance of your home. This will help prevent contact with dirt or any waste that could be carried on the soles of shoes.

FACT: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus, NOT by bacteria

The virus that causes COVID-19 is in a family of viruses called Coronaviridae. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.
Some people who become ill with COVID-19 can also develop a bacterial infection as a complication. In this case, antibiotics may be recommended by a health care provider.
There is currently no licensed medication to cure COVID-19. If you have symptoms, call your health care provider or COVID-19 hotline for assistance.

FACT: The prolonged use of medical masks* when properly worn, DOES NOT cause CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency

The prolonged use of medical masks can be uncomfortable. However, it does not lead to CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency. While wearing a medical mask, make sure it fits properly and that it is tight enough to allow you to breathe normally. Do not re-use a disposable mask and always change it as soon as it gets damp.
* Medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are flat or pleated; they are affixed to the head with straps or have ear loops.

FACT: Most people who get COVID-19 recover from it

Most people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms and can recover thanks to supportive care. If you have a cough, fever and difficulty breathing seek medical care early – call your health facility by telephone first. If you have fever and live in an area with malaria or dengue seek medical care immediately.

FACT: The COVID-19 virus can spread in hot and humid climates

The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by maintaining physical distance of at least 1 metre from others and frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

FACT: Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the COVID-19 virus

There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and wate


For more information about COVID-19 or how long COVID 19 stay on surfaces, please see your local infection prevention team or the latest national or international guidance. World Health OrganisationCentres for Disease Control and Department of Health and Social Care.

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