The plastic trays used at airport security checkpoints have been found to have the highest levels of viruses at airports, in a new scientific investigation by pandemic experts.

The study was carried out by a team of experts from the University of Nottingham and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare who tested a variety of surfaces at Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland.

The team wanted to identify and quantify the respiratory viruses on frequently-touched surfaces in airports. They found evidence of viruses on 10 per cent of the surfaces tested and most commonly on the plastic trays that are used at the carry on luggage X-ray checkpoint.

The investigation, published in BMC Infectious Diseases.