COVID-19 Social Distancing

Social distancing includes ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people.

Social distancing is important because COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared

  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or

  • touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough

    or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

Events where a large number of people are in one place can increase the risk of transmission of viruses. If you are organising a gathering, consider whether you can postpone, reduce size/frequency or cancel the event. If you decide to go ahead, you should assess the risks and reconsider any aspect that may increase risk of transmission.

In some cases in Australia social distancing measures have become mandatory.

Social Distancing in Public

To reduce the spread of germs:

  • Sanitise your hands wherever possible, including entering and leaving buildings

  • Use tap and pay rather than handling money

  •  Try and travel at quiet times and try to avoid crowds

  • Public transport workers and taxi drivers should open vehicle windows where possible, and regularly clean and disinfect high touch surfaces.

  • If you are sick, stay away from others – that is the most important thing you can do.

You should also practise good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene:

  •  wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet

  • cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser, and

  • if unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people)

Social Distancing in the Workplace

To reduce the spread of germs in the workplace:

  •  Stay at home if you are sick

  • Stop handshaking as a greeting

  • Hold meetings via video conferencing or phone call

  •  Defer large meetings

  • Hold essential meetings outside in the open air if possible

  • Promote good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and provide hand sanitisers for all staff and workers

  • Take lunch at your desk or outside rather than in the lunch room

  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly

  • Consider opening windows and adjusting air conditioning for more ventilation

  • Limit food handling and sharing of food in the workplace

  •  Reconsider non-essential business travel

  • Promote strictest hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts

  • Consider if large gatherings can be rescheduled, staggered or if they should be cancelled

  • There should be at least 4sqm of space per person

Social distancing in schools

To reduce the spread of germs in schools:

  • If your child is sick, do not send them to school (or childcare)

  • Sanitise hands when entering school and at regular intervals

  • Defer activities that lead to mixing between classes and years

  • Avoid queuing and consider cancelling school assemblies

  • Promote a regular handwashing schedule

  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly

  • Conduct lessons outdoors where possible

  • Consider opening windows and adjusting conditioning for more ventilation

  • Promote strictest hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts

Cover your cough or sneeze
If you become sick tell someone