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COVID-19 Contamination from Surfaces

22 July 2021


Revised guidance on the handling of potentially contaminated objects issued

The public are invited to note that AIG has revised the guidance in place on the handling of goods and objects which may be at risk of having been contaminated by COVID-19.

Previously, it was advised that goods and objects which may have had their surfaces exposed to COVID-19 should be left for up to 72 hours before being handled. However, current scientific understanding of COVID-19 indicates that the risk posed to others by objects exposed to persons affected by COVID-19 is relatively low, and can therefore be effectively mitigated if simple actions are attentively undertaken.

As such AIG has now issued revised guidance to organisations operating within Ascension. The specific guidance can be found here. This guidance covers a range of scenarios by which, based on the practices observed within Ascension, it might be considered possible for COVID-19 surface contamination to occur.

This includes practices such as the handling of goods or freight that has arrived by air from an affected area within the last 24 hours, areas or objects used by someone currently observing compulsory isolation or restrictions short of compulsory isolation, and vehicles used by recent arrivals or those currently under isolation measures.

In general, an individual wearing suitable PPE, following the guidance issued and using an appropriate cleaning agent for the type of surface in question, can be confident that the risk of contamination from COVID-19 has been effectively removed following thorough cleaning.

Members of the public required to undertake such cleaning practices as part of their work responsibilities should liaise with their employer to understand how the new guidance applies to them.

As before, for individuals under compulsory isolation measures, no objects should be passed out from the isolation property to anyone not also under compulsory isolation measures.

As with all COVID-19 related policies and procedures, AIG keeps the policies in place under constant review, and as such it is appropriate to reassess these in light of new evidence and improved scientific understanding.