How to safely accept deliveries during UK coronavirus lockdown

25 March 2020, 14:55 | Updated: 25 March 2020, 15:37

A delivery courier is seen wearing a mask in locked down Barcelona
Coronavirus: A delivery courier is seen wearing a mask in locked down Barcelona. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

Britain is on lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic and online deliveries are being used more now than ever - but is there a safe way of ordering things to your house?

When Boris Johnson announced the recent lockdown measures because of coronavirus he implored people to stay home and to shop online whenever they can.

But some may be concerned about the risk of picking up the Covid-19 virus through home deliveries - so how can you do it safely?

Can you catch coronavirus through home deliveries?

According to Stephen Baker from the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge, risk of transmission in this way is low and people should employ common sense.

He said that viruses, unlike bacteria, do not survive well outside the body.

The NHS website's coronavirus page says: "It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food."

The biggest risk of transmission is from person to person which is why social distancing measures have been introduced.

Although Professor Baker said the risk from deliveries is "not zero", he said it is "relatively minor".

Saying: "Things that are in packages, I would maintain a degree of common sense with the view that they are unlikely to make anybody sick."

He added that wet wipes or alcohol wipes can also be used to decontaminate packaging.

How should you interact with delivery workers during coronavirus pandemic?

Professor Baker said the important thing to remember is social distancing.

For example, he suggested deliveries could be left at people's doors to cut down on direct contact.

Also, paying for deliveries by card in advance removes the direct contact of cash payment.

Can coronavirus be caught from packaging?

The virus will survive for a short time on packaging but not indefinitely.

Prof Baker said: "There isn't any real necessity to throw away packaging any sooner than you would do normally."

He suggested that instead of food packaging being a problem, there is more risk from surfaces such as door handles, lift buttons, petrol pumps and letterboxes.

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