A simulation made by scientists shows that a single cough in a supermarket can spread meters to the next aisle and take six minutes to settle – putting shoppers at risk of catching coronavirus.

In the animation, a person coughs without covering their mouth and makes a cloud of particles which swell outwards and up to three meters high.

The particles float over the supermarket shelves and engulf another shopper standing in the next aisle.

Unfortunately, if people won’t self-isolate when they have a cough or even cover their mouths then it increases the risk of the infection spreading in lockdown.

The scientists warn that aerosol particles can travel far
The scientists warn that aerosol particles can travel far

The only thing to do is to avoid shopping as much as possible, according to the lead scientist in the study.

Professor Ville Vuorinen of Aalto University in Finland told the BBC: "If you go there, only go there seldom as possible.

“Stay there as short a time as possible.”

The characteristic dry cough of coronavirus means that the aerosol particles expelled are tiny and stay in the air much longer before settling.

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"If someone infected with coronavirus coughs and walks away and someone else nearby comes over, aerosol particles containing the virus could end up in the other person's respiratory tract," Prof Ville says.

In a statement accompanying the video, the researchers said: "Preliminary results indicate that aerosol particles carrying the virus can remain in the air longer than was originally thought, so it is important to avoid busy public indoor spaces.

"This also reduces the risk of droplet infection, which remains the main path of transmission for coronavirus."

Coronavirus
Stay home if you have symptoms and cough into your arm rather than your hand

Following the government lockdown rules and staying two metres apart from other people when out shopping or exercising reduces the risk of droplet transmission.

Scientists previously revealed a computer simulation showing how far droplets travel when you cough into an arm versus into the air or your hand.

And this is the sound of the dry cough which is one of the most common symptoms of coronavirus.