How long does the coronavirus last on surfaces? A new study backed by the US government showed it can survive for days. Scientists found that virus particles can survive in the air for nearly three hours. But if the virus makes it to hard surfaces, its life could be extended significantly. For instance, it lived on a copper surface for about four hours. On cardboard, the virus lasted about 24 hours. As for plastic and stainless steel, it was between two to three days.