How to protect yourself and others from the Virus?

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.

Good hygiene

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

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.

Surgical masks

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.

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