The Moderna vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine and the Oxford vaccine are all proving successful in the fight against coronavirus, but the whole UK will not be vaccinated in time for a ‘normal’ Christmas – meaning more people will be relying on sending parcels and cards than ever before.
This is supported by a recent OnePoll survey conducted by John Lewis found that 70% of people planned to post more or the same amount of Christmas cards this year than last.
While people are aware they are to wash their hands more these days, it shouldn’t be forgotten that parcels are handled by several people.
So here’s how to safeguard your deliveries from Santa this year…
Australia’s national science agency CSIRO found that Covid-19 has a short survival rate on surfaces such as paper, but it can live for up to four weeks on mobile phone screens or banknotes.
S.P Clodd-Broom from Treehouse Trading told Metro.co.uk: ‘Covid-19 can live on cardboard for 24 hours and plastic and smooth surfaces for up to 72 hours. The reason you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds is to burst the envelope of the virus and disperse the contents. Use hand sanitiser before, and after handling any item before touching your face or food.
Other results from experiments published in The Lancet showed that SARS-Cov-2 – the virus responsible for Covid-19 – can survive two to three days on glass, and up to six days on plastic and stainless steel.
These insights can show how Covid survives in controlled conditions, but part of the worry is that it’s harder to measure outside of that.
Reece Samani from Signature Pharmacy told Metro.co.uk: ‘In laboratory conditions, coronavirus was shown to stay on copper surfaces for 4 hours, 24 hours on cardboard and 72 hours on plastic and steel.
‘However, in real-world conditions with less controlled variables, it is unclear how long the virus will be alive on these surfaces.
It is best practice to follow precautionary hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the virus; this includes wiping surfaces that are touched regularly such as phones, light switches, fridges, remotes etc. often’
Though there’s a very small chance that a parcel or card could hold traces of coronavirus, that might be too much of a risk for some still.
Luckily, there are tips to Covid-proof your Christmas cards and gifts.
For a start, always wash your hands after handling the post or signing for a delivery.
Secondly, consider sending out your cards and parcels earlier. This means that they will have longer before they are opened, and your presents are in effect self-isolating under the tree.
If you can’t let the parcels sit around for a few weeks – some of us like to keep it last minute – then consider wiping down any of your post with an anti-bacterial wipe.
Giving wrapping paper and cardboard packaging a wipe down will help eliminate any lingering microbes of the virus.
To be completely sure that the virus isn’t living on any surfaces brought in to your home, you could consider a UV light. Saba Yossouf, CEO of Invisi Smart Technologies revealed to Metro.co.uk that colder conditions, like warehouses or the back of delivery vans, could be an even bigger breeding ground for the virus.
Yossouf said: ‘The cold conditions are conducive to the spread of coronavirus, which is why we recommend putting the UV light over the surfaces that you want to keep sterile.
UV light kills the viruses in the cold areas, cold countries and cold conditions where the virus survives longer.’
If you have shown symptoms of the virus, you should wait to send out any post until you are feeling better, or you have passed the incubation period of 14 days. If you send out post and then later test positive with Covid-19, it might be worth alerting anyone you have sent packages too.
They can then be sure to be extra cautious cleaning and handling anything they receive.