Although close contact represents an important contagion route, the mechanism of exposure to exhaled droplets remains insufficiently characterized . In this study, an integrated risk assessment is presented for SARS-CoV-2 close contact exposure between a speaking infectious subject and a susceptible subject . It is based on a three-dimensional transient numerical model for the description of exhaled droplet spread once emitted by a speaking person, coupled with a recently proposed SARS-CoV-2 emission approach . Particle image velocimetry measurements were conducted to validate the numerical model . The contribution of large droplets to infection risk is dominant for distances <0.6 m, whereas for longer distances, the exposure risk depends only on airborne droplets . In particular, for short exposures (10 s) a minimum safety distance of 0.75 m should be maintained to lower the risk below 0.1% ; for exposures of 1 and 15 min this distance increases to about 1.0 and 1.5 m, respectively . Based on the interpersonal distances across countries reported as a function of interacting individuals, cultural differences, and environmental and sociopsychological factors, the approach presented here revealed that, in addition to intimate and personal distances, particular attention must be paid to exposures longer than 1 min within social distances (of about 1 m).