Covid-19

Social Distancing

By March 25, 2020 No Comments

Everyone must practise social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The following guidelines are from the Austrlian Government.

Keep your distance

One way to slow the spread of viruses is social distancing (also called physical distancing).

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

In public

Social distancing in public means people:

  • stay at home unless is absolutely necessary
  • keep 1.5 metres away from others
  • avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses
  • use tap and pay instead of cash
  • travel at quiet times and avoid crowds
  • avoid public gatherings and at risk groups
  • practise good hygiene

See important information on restrictions on public gatherings.

Households

Steps for social distancing in all homes include:

  • stay at home unless going out is absolutely necessary
  • keep visitors to a minimum
  • reduce visits to the shops — instead, buy more goods and services online if you can for pick-up, pre-order or delivery
  • carefully consider what travel and outings are necessary, both individual and family
  • regularly disinfect surfaces that are touched a lot, such as tables, kitchen benches and doorknobs
  • increase ventilation in the home by opening windows or adjust air conditioning

If someone in your household is sick, you should:

  • care for the sick person in a single room, if possible
  • keep the number of carers to a minimum
  • keep the door to the sick person’s room closed. If possible, keep a window open
  • wear a surgical mask when you are in the same room as the sick person. The sick person should also wear a mask
  • protect other vulnerable family members by keeping them away from the sick person. At-risk people include those over 65 years or people with a chronic illness. If possible, find them somewhere else to live while the family member is sick.

At work

If you can, work from home. If you cannot work from home and you are sick, you must not attend your workplace. You must stay at home and away from others.

Steps for social distancing in the workplace include:

  • stop shaking hands to greet others
  • hold meetings via video conferencing or phone call
  • put off large meetings to a later date
  • hold essential meetings outside in the open air if possible
  • promote good hand, sneeze and cough hygiene
  • provide alcohol based hand rub for all staff and workers
  • eat lunch at your desk or outside rather than in the lunch room
  • regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that many people touch
  • open windows or adjust air conditioning for more ventilation
  • limit food handling and sharing of food in the workplace
  • avoid non-essential travel
  • promote strict hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts
  • consider if you can reschedule, stagger or cancel non-essential meetings

In schools

If your child is sick, they must not go to school or childcare. You must keep them at home and away from others.

To reduce the spread of viruses or germs in schools:

  • wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser when entering school and at regular intervals
  • stop activities that lead to mixing between classes and years
  • avoid queuing
  • cancel school assemblies
  • have a regular handwashing schedule
  • regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that many people touch
  • 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

Keep in touch with others

You can still keep in touch with loved ones while you practise social distancing:

  • use video chats
  • schedule phone calls to chat with others you would normally see
  • use online groups to interact
  • chat with neighbours while keeping 1.5 metres apart

See fact sheet on social distancing.