Virus cannot be passed on by newspaper pages, top scientists confirm

Newspapers cannot transmit coronavirus, scientists and health experts have confirmed – meaning readers are safe to touch pages without worrying about picking up Covid-19.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 3:10 pm
Updated Friday, 27th March 2020, 3:11 pm

The ink and printing process publications go through mean the chances of the disease being passed on by a physical newspaper are minute, one specialist has said.

John Innes Centre virologist George Lomonossoff, who uses molecular biology to understand the assembly and properties of viruses in the United Kingdom, said: “Newspapers are pretty sterile because of the way they are printed and the process they’ve been through. Traditionally, people have eaten fish and chips out of them for that very reason. So all of the ink and the print makes them actually quite sterile. The chances of that are infinitesimal.”

Meanwhile, speaking on Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary Jones said: "For public health information right now it's important people have access to information through newspapers.”

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Dr Hilary stressed they were an essential service, adding: “It's possible to deliver newspapers safely. If someone physically picks them up and delivers them to a doorstep or letterbox it's safe.’

The World Health Organisation also confirmed that reading newspapers carries no real risk of catching the Covid-19 virus.

It said: “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes Covid-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperate is also low.”

Publishers have also long protected customers and staff through health and safety measures at printing plants, distribution centres, and home delivery.

An arrangement of newspapers - which cannot transmit Covid-19, scientists have confirmed. (Photo by DANIEL SORABJI/AFP via Getty Images)