The coronavirus has an incubation period – i.e. the time between infection and the appearance of the first symptoms – of around 3-4 days. However, this period can last up to 14 days.
Anyone contracting the coronavirus is infectious for a long time:
- Start of the contagious period: 2 days before symptoms appear. In other words, you can infect other people before you even notice that you’ve contracted the disease.
- While you’re experiencing symptoms of the illness: This is when you’re most infectious.
- End of the contagious period: In mild cases, “infectiousness” declines from the 5th to the 10th day of the illness, and is particularly low once any symptoms have disappeared. So the following rule of thumb applies: The contagious period ends between 5 and 10 days after symptoms first appear. But in severe cases there are indications that people with the disease can remain contagious for longer.