Doorknobs, handrails and shopping trolleys should be coated in copper to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to a top British scientist.

Research has shown the deadly infection can survive and remain contagious on steel and plastic for three days.

But the coronavirus is killed off within four hours on copper because of the metal’s antibacterial properties.

People can catch the illness by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their face, allowing the virus to enter their mouth or nose.