Physical distancing during COVID-19

Physical distancing during COVID-19

Published: 6 August 2020

The Australian Government is closly monitoring the COVID-19 situation and whilst some restrictions have eased, people are advised to continue to physically distance from others when in public. It is also now recommended that you wear a fabric mask in circumstances where you cannot physically distance.

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Why is physical distancing important?

Physical distancing is important because infections often spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct close contact while a person is infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
  • close contact with a person who has 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, nose or eyes.

So, the more space between you and others, the harder it is for a virus to spread, which means fewer people will get the virus.

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What can I do?

The best thing you can do to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 is stay at home. But if you do have to leave the house, to prevent the spread of germs:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating and after using the toilet
  • Cover your cough and/or sneeze, dispose of tissues in a bin
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol), including after entering or leaving buildings (where you have to touch a handle or doorknob)
  • Avoid handshaking, kissing and cuddling
  • Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres or more between yourself and others
  • Stay connected through texts, phone calls and virtual catch-ups
  • Regularly disinfect high touch surfaces, such as tables, kitchen benches and doorknobs in your home
  • Increase ventilation in your home by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning
  • Visit shops sparingly and use online services instead (if available)
  • Use tap and pay rather than handling money
  • Try to travel on public transport at quiet times
  • Wear a mask when it is difficult to stay 1.5m from other people
  • If travelling in a taxi or Uber, ask to have the windows open
  • Follow the advice of the NSW government and NSW Health


Still not sure what the big deal is?

This simple Instagram video by artists Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre makes it easy to understand how every single person plays a vital part in slowing the spread of infections.


Want more info?

You can find more information at Or click here to find out more information on how to 'flatten the curve'