Research on transmission of COVID-19

On 26 May, the Environment Agency published Environmental Influence on Transmission of COVID-19, a 24-page report compiled by the Environmental and Modelling Group for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). Extracts from the Press Release are reproduced below.

A further two reports were also published by Government Office for Science on Coronavirus (COVID-19): scientific evidence supporting the UK government response, and from Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on Evidence of environmental dispersion of COVID-19 for different mechanisms. The latter is of more relevance to the reopening of places of worship, and we have posted a  separate summary.

Environmental influence on transmission of COVID-19 (28 April 2020)

Research compiled by the Environmental and Modelling Group for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

Published 26 May 2020

This paper looks at transmission through airborne, droplet and contact routes. It considers the evidence relating to time spent in an environment, distance to the source (2m rule), transmission on surfaces and ventilation as a mitigating factor. The paper was discussed at SAGE meeting 29 on 28 April 2020.

This evidence was often complied very rapidly during a fast-moving response and should be viewed in this context. The paper presented here is the best assessment of the evidence at the time of writing, and the conclusions were formed on this basis. As new evidence or data emerges, SAGE updates its advice accordingly. Therefore, some of the information in this paper may have been superseded at a later date.


The 24-page version published on 26 May includes:  Annex 1: Ranking workspaces by risk, Spatial and environmental typology , and a copy of the paper Environmental contamination and risk of infection for SARS-CoV-2, Marco-Felipe King et al. These have been omitted from the 15-page version, current at 28 May.

Our post A sage appraisal of COVID-19 reviews the reports published by government on 26 May which have been considered by SAGE.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Research on transmission of COVID-19" in Law & Religion UK, 26 May 2020,

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