Well, there are several factors that can determine the life of the virus. In airborne droplets, researchers suggest it can last at least 3 hours while hard, shiny surfaces like glass, counter tops, plastic and stainless steel can house the virus for up to 72 hours. Other materials like cardboard, paper and fabrics can hold the virus for around 24 hours.
According to the World Health Organisation, temperature and humidity also play a part.
How Does Coronavirus spread?
Just like any other virus, coronavirus spreads from people being unhygienic. Typically COVID-19 is caught from people carrying the virus via small droplets.
"COVID-19 is largely a respiratory (airways, nasal passages and lung) virus, and so we now know that spread from human to human occurs from respiratory droplets or airway secretions," Melbourne-based Dr. Kieran Kennedy previously told Men's Health.
When an infected person coughs or exhales, small droplets leave his body and land on surfaces. When people come in contact with those surfaces housing the virus and they are unhygienic, they can pick it up.
Experts are warning people to avoid touching their faces because that's how the virus enters our bodies and unknowingly, because you're not sure what you've touched throughout the day.
"If we touch a contaminated surface or object then touch our eyes, nose, mouth or ingest food infection is possible." Kennedy explains.
Alternatively, if you come into close contact with an infected person, you may breathe in droplets if that person coughs or exhales, a likely source of catching the virus, Kennedy says.
"Close personal contact is the most likely means of transmission. Inhalation of droplets from someone sneezing or coughing very close by can lead to spread, as could kissing, hugging or other close contact if airway secretions are exchanged," he continues.
That's why the government is recommending that people stay 1.5m away from people – a suitable amount to prevent transmission.
How Can You Limit Your Risk Of Unknowingly Picking Up The Virus?
Like we mentioned, staying at least 1.5m away from someone will limit person-to-person transmission.
If you're worried about what you've touched recently, use an alcohol-based sanitiser or wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. It's also important to wash surfaces regularly that could have been exposed to droplets – from packaging to counter tops while also avoiding contact with public surfaces (we highly recommend using gloves for places like petrol stations).
If you're eating any fresh produce, make sure you was thoroughly under running water while cooking the food should kill any disease.
"The recommendation still continues to make sure to soak (produce) in water or put it under running water to wash out any potential contamination," Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia told USA Today.
While cooking vegetables would also "take care of the virus."