In the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Q&A about coronaviruses (second-to-last question), it explains the low risk of commercial products as a vector for the virus:
Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?
Yes. 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, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.
WHO and industry experts confirm newspapers remain safe to handle
The UK-based Society of Editors referenced an interview with BBC Radio Scotland in which John Innes Centre virologist George Lomonossoff, who uses molecular biology to understand the makeup and properties of viruses in the UK, said, “Newspapers are pretty sterile because of the way they are printed and the process they’ve been through (to be produced).”
They also state that the UK government “has committed to allowing news media providers to stay open within new lockdown legislation and confirmed journalists as recognised key workers.”
Taking precautions such as washing hands with soap and water remain key to preventing the spread of the virus.
Members of the News Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.