With temperatures set to soar across the UK this week, many Brits will likely head out to enjoy the sunshine.
Now, a new study claims that spending time outdoors can actually reduce your risk of coronavirus.
Scientists Jose-Luis Sagripanti and David Lytle – a US Army veteran and former employee at the Food and Drug Administration, respectively – say that strong sunlight can kill coronavirus in just 34 minutes.
In the study, the researchers analysed how well UV sunlight could destroy the virus in various cities at different times of the year.
The analysis suggests that ‘midday sunlight in most US and world cities during summer’ can wipe out 90% of coronavirus living on surfaces in just 34 minutes.
In contrast, from December until March, the researchers suggest that the virus can live on surfaces for up to a day or more.
In their study, published in Photochemistry and Photobiology, the researchers wrote: “The presented data indicate that SARS-CoV-2 should be inactivated relatively fast (faster than influenza A) during summer in many populous cities of the world, indicating that sunlight should have a role in the occurrence, spread rate, and duration of coronavirus pandemics.”
However, the World Health Organisation has warned that sunlight does not prevent coronavirus.
It explained: “Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease.
“You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19.”
WHO also advised against using UV lamps to try to combat the virus.
It added: “UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.”