Doctors reveal list of the everyday activities putting you most at risk of coronavirus

The risks of catching coronavirus while doing everything from opening the mail to visiting a bar have been compared in a new table.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 8:09 am
Updated Friday, 10th July 2020, 8:09 am
Bars are classed as 'high-risk' venues to visit by physicians in America (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A leading group of physicians rated a range of commonplace activities by how likely they are to result in you getting COVID-19, with each awarded a score between one for the lowest risk and 10 for the highest risk.

According to the Texas Medical Association, opening the mail, getting a takeaway, playing tennis and camping all fall in the ‘low risk’ category.

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But going to the gym, attending a large religious service or visiting a bar are all classed as ‘high risk’.

The guide is based on the risk in the US, where different measures are in place to the UK, but gives a useful insight into how the risk of transmission varies between different activities.

The Texas Medical Association was set up in 1853 and today has more than 53,000 physician and medical student members, according to its website, making it the largest state medical society in the UK.

The association said the table was based on the assumption that whatever the activity, participants were taking as many safety precautions as possible.

“Don’t forget to remind your patients that no matter what they do, it’s best if they stay home if possible, wear a mask and maintain at least six feet of distance when they have to go out, and practice safe hand hygiene,” it added.

Here’s the table in full.


Opening the mail (risk factor of 1)

Getting restaurant takeout (2)

Pumping gasoline (2)

Playing tennis (2)

Going camping (2)


Grocery shopping (3)

Going for a walk, run, or bike ride with others (3)

Playing golf (3)

Staying at a hotel for two nights (4)

Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room (4)

Going to a library or museum (4)

Eating in a restaurant (outside) (4)

Walking in a busy downtown (4)

Spending an hour at a playground (4)


Having dinner at someone else’s house (5)

Attending a backyard barbecue (5)

Going to a beach (5)

Shopping at a mall (5)

Sending kids to school, camp, or day care (6)

Working a week in an office building (6)

Swimming in a public pool (6)

Visiting an elderly relative or friend in their home (6)


Going to a hair salon or barbershop (7)

Eating in a restaurant (inside) (7)

Attending a wedding or funeral (7)

Travelling by plane (7)

Playing basketball (7)

Playing football (7)

Hugging or shaking hands when greeting a friend (7)


Eating at a buffet (8)

Working out at a gym (8)

Going to an amusement park (8)

Going to a movie theatre (8)

Attending a large music concert (9)

Going to a sports stadium (9)

Attending a religious service with 500+ worshipers (9)

Going to a bar (9)