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27 March 2020

Health Experts: Newsprint Is Safe From COVID-19

Scientists and health experts have confirmed that newspapers are not transmitters of COVID-19 owing to the ink and the printing process they go through. 

Speaking on Good Morning Britain earlier today, and setting the record straight regarding newspapers safety, Dr Hilary Jones, said: "For public health information right now it's important people have access to information through newspapers”. Dr Hilary stressed that they were an essential service and that "it's possible to deliver newspapers safely. If someone physically picks them up and delivers them to a doorstep or letterbox it's safe."

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.” 

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.