How long can the virus survive on surfaces?

According to WHO, there is no confirmed timeline how long a COVID-19 virus survives in surfaces. However, most likely it behaves like other coronaviruses. Studies show that coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for a few hours up to several days depending on varied conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you suspect that a surface is infected, clean it with disinfectant; clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water; and if possible, minimize touching your eyes, mouth or nose. [1]

The coronavirus can live for hours to days on surfaces like countertops and doorknobs. How long it survives depends on the material the surface is made from. [2]

Here’s how long the virus typically lasts on common surfaces: [3]

  • Glass – 5 days
  • Wood – 4 days
  • Plastic & stainless-steel – 3 days
  • Cardboard – 24 hours
  • Copper surfaces – 4 hours

Protect yourself and others from the spread COVID-19 [4]

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and others.
  • Avoid going to crowded places.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Proper disposal of tissues and masks.
  • Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention
  • Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources