Everyone is talking about Social Distancing.
What Is It?
What is Social Distancing and why are we doing it?
Coronavirus is really contagious, and social distancing is a way that we can reduce its spread. This means having less contact with other people. At the moment everyone in Australia is being asked to keep 1.5 metres away from other people.
What can I do to stop the spread of the Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is spread from person to person by:
- By being in direct contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before they started showing symptoms
- Contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
- Touching objects or surfaces (doorknobs, tables, benches, crockery) that has droplets from a cough or sneeze from someone who has coronavirus, and then touching your face or mouth
Practice good hygiene. This means:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
- Cover your cough with and sneeze. You do this by coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and into a tissue. Dispose of the tissues and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- Avoid contact with others – stay more than 1.5 metres from people.
What can and can't I do when practicing Social Distancing?
We all need to stay at home, unless it’s absolutely necessary to go outside.
You are allowed to leave your house for the essentials, such as:
- Shopping for food
- Exercising in a public place but only with one other person, this includes walking the dog
- Going out for medical needs
- Providing care or support to another individual in a place other than your home
- Going to work if you cannot work from home
- You can have a haircut but there needs to be only 1 person for every 4 square metre space and personal contact must be very minimal.
- Try not to have people come to your house, and if they must, it needs to be a very small number of people and avoid contact with others – remember the 1.5 metre rule.
What you can’t do:
- Have family gatherings, BBQs, birthday parties and house parties.
- Go to the gym
- Go to the park
- Go swimming in public chlorinated swimming pool
- Go to a beach that is really crowded and sit close to other people
- Go to the pub
- Sit down and eat in a restaurant – they are only providing take away food.
How can I practise Social Distancing at home?
To reduce the spread of germs:
- Practice good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene
- Avoid handshaking and kissing
- Regularly disinfect surfaces that are touched a lot like tables, kitchen benches, and doorknobs
- Increase the ventilation in the home by opening windows or adjusting the air conditioning
- Don’t visit the shops too often and buy more things online
If someone in your home is sick, follow the above and:
- Care for the sick person in a single room if possible
- Have a small number of carers
- Keep the door to the sick person’s room closed, but the window open
- have the sick person and their carers wear masks when in the same room
- Protect any vulnerable family members such as people over 65 or people with a chronic illness, if possible, find them other accommodation
How can I practise Social Distancing at work?
If you are sick, stay at home, you can’t go to work.
To reduce the spread of germs at work, this is what you can do:
- Work from home if you can
- Don’t shake people’s hands
- Hold meetings via video or conferencing calls
- Reschedule large meetings to a later date
- Hold essential meetings outside
- Practice good hand, sneeze and cough hygiene and provide hand sanitisers for all staff or workers
- Take your lunch to your desk or outside rather than the lunch room
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched a lot
- Try opening windows and adjusting air conditioning for more ventilation
- Limit food handling and sharing food at work
- Think twice about non-essential business travel
What about Social Distancing at schools?
To reduce the spread of germs in schools:
- Have your child learn at home if you can
- Do not send your child to school (or childcare) if they are sick
- Sanitise hands when entering school and throughout the day
- Do not participate in activities that mixes classes or year groups
- Avoid queuing and consider cancelling school assemblies
- Promote a regular hand washing schedule
- Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that have been touched
- Conduct lessons outdoors where possible
- Try opening windows and adjusting conditioning for more ventilation
- Promote strictest hygiene for food preparation (canteen), staff and their close contacts
What about Social Distancing in public?
- Sanitise your hands wherever possible, including entering and leaving buildings
- Avoid using cash – use your card to tap and pay
- Try to travel at quiet times to avoid crowds
- Public transport and taxi drivers should open vehicle windows where possible and regularly clean and disinfect surfaces
This content has been adapted from the Australian Government Department of Health Website and the NSW State Government website.
This information can be found here: