As supermarket shelves across the country are emptied and tighter restrictions are applied to social interaction, many more people have turned to online shopping to minimise face-to-face contact. Although this method is much safer, a wealth of worried posts online has sparked concern over whether the novel coronavirus can survive on packages.
Can I contract Coronavirus from a package?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a package that has been “moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures” is highly unlikely to allow the virus to last very long and is not thought to be a significant means of spreading the disease. Although there is limited in-depth research into how COVID-19 behaves, there has been extensive research of the family of coronaviruses, such as SARS or MERS.
On this basis, the NHS have said “there is currently no evidence that you can catch coronavirus from parcels and letters” continuing that it’s “very unlikely it can spread through things like packages or food”. This is often due to harsh conditions during transit as Darshan Shah, Medical Director at Next Health has stated, “Mechanical, temperature and humidity changes would likely kill the virus before it arrives at your doorstep".
Even though the risk of coronavirus is minimised by ordering essentials online, if you’re still concerned there are extra measures you can take to protect yourself and your recipients.
The guidelines have advised that you can disinfect your parcels with sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol or an alcohol-based wipe prior to opening.
Once opened and handled, dispose of any packaging as soon as possible and make sure to wash your hands with soap and water or a hand.
What services can I use to minimise risks?
All of our couriers are now practicing contactless delivery. This will entail your courier arriving at your address and knocking on your door, then while standing at a safe distance they will ask for a name and sign on your behalf.
You can also further protect yourselves, your recipients and couriers by using contactless services such as InPost’s Lockers. Situated in a secure and accessible public space these lockers allow you to drop off your parcel to send and collect any and all deliveries without face-to-face contact. These lockers have inbuilt automated security systems that allow you to access them any time of the day or night, seven days a week. Find your nearest InPost locker with our Drop Off Locator.
Sending care packages to our loved ones in this time of uncertainty can be uplifting. This could be simply a birthday card to a friend in self-isolation, a hamper of home comforts to a family member abroad, or even a home-crafted book of the kid’s best masterpieces for their grandparents. While in this period of distancing we are here to keep you connected to those you cannot reach, to keep spirits high.
If you also want to help those on the frontline of this pandemic, putting others before themselves to flatten the curve, Oxford Health Charity is taking donations to put towards care packages for our NHS workers during this stressful period.
Interparcel are working to provide customers and staff with guidance that aligns with Government advice. All of our staff are now working remotely to maintain the standard of services we pride ourselves with, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch via telephone, live chat or email – Monday to Friday 8am-5pm. Visit our COVID-19 updates page for ongoing information on services.