There are important steps you should take to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect yourself and those who are most at risk.
How to slow the spread
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, practise good hygiene and social distancing and follow the rules for public gatherings, quarantine and self-isolation.
Everyone should practise good hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading.
When you practise good hygiene you:
Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
Put used tissues straight into the bin
Wash your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet
Use alcohol-based hand sanitisers
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
Clean and disinfect frequently used objects such as mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes
Increase the amount of fresh air available by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning
Alcohol-free hand rubs have not been shown to be effective against viruses like COVID-19, and experts recommend against using them.
Social distancing in public means people:
Stay at home and only go out if it is absolutely essential
Keep 1.5 metres away from others
Avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses
Use tap and go instead of cash
Travel at quiet times and avoid crowds
Avoid public gatherings and at risk groups like older people
Self-isolation means staying at home or in your hotel room for 14 days. This is to prevent the possible spread of the virus to other people.
This means you:
Do not leave your home/hotel unless it is an emergency
Do not go to public places such as work or shopping centres
Do not let visitors in - only people who usually live with you should be in your home.
If you are well, there is no need to wear surgical masks inside.
If you are isolating at home, ask others who are not in isolation to get food and necessities for you. For support contact your state or territory health agency.
If you are in a hotel you must avoid contact with other guests or staff.
Wearing a surgical mask in public can help to protect yourself from being infected.
Find out more in our fact sheet about the use of surgical masks here.
There is no vaccine for COVID-19 for now, but there is one for the flu.
You should get a flu shot. Getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time can make you very ill.
Scientists from around the world are working on developing a vaccine for COVID-19. The World Health Organization believes this may be available within 18 months.
Care for your health
If you are unwell and think it might be COVID-19, you should seek medical attention at once.
If you are unwell with a different medical problem, contact a doctor for advice and treatment.
If you have a chronic medical condition, keep your usual medical or pathology test appointments. Contact your doctor or specialist to talk about any concerns you have.