Protect yourself from COVID-19

Everybody is at risk of getting COVID-19. For most people, they will only develop mild illness and recover easily, but others may develop severe sickness.

To protect yourself, your family and the community from getting COVID-19 you must maintain good hygiene and practice social distancing (also called physical distancing).

Preventing COVID-19


  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Get tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Wash your hands often using soap and water or hand sanitiser.
  • Sneeze or cough into your arm or a tissue. Put the tissue in the bin.
  • Wear a face mask when you can't socially distance or whenever face masks are required.
  • Get vaccinated.

Do not

  • Go near people if you are coughing or sneezing.

People most at risk of serious illness

Some people are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. People need to take extra steps to protect themselves and those most at risk.

Those at greatest risk are:

Social distancing

Social distancing (also called physical distancing) is one way to help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

By keeping your distance, you can help protect the people in our community who are most at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.

Practical advice

Face masks and gloves

Face masks can be a useful measure to help control sustained community transmission. Find out more about how to wear face masks and what mask requirements are active in Queensland.

You don’t need to wear gloves to protect yourself from getting COVID-19. In fact, wearing gloves could help the spread of the virus to yourself or others. The germs you pick up on gloves can transfer to other surfaces such as your face if you touch it while wearing gloves.

COVID-19 at home

Keep anyone who is sick in the home separate from everyone else. Provide a separate bathroom and bedroom for them, if possible. Only have one person taking care of the sick person. The person should not be high risk and should minimise contact with other members of the household.

Maintain social distancing between a sick person and other members of the household. If you must share a bedroom with the sick person, ensure there is good air flow as much as possible by turning on the fan and opening the windows. Sleep head to toe if you must share a bed and use a divider such as a sheet, pillow, towel or blanket to minimise contact.

COVID-19 and children

If your child is sick, they should not go to school or childcare. If they have COVID-19 symptoms, get them tested.

When dropping off or picking up children from school and extracurricular activities, spend as little time at the school or venue as possible. Contact your child's school if you are unsure about any changes to drop off and pick up routines.

Ensure your children understand and practice good hygiene, including:

  • regular hand washing using soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • covering coughs and sneezes with a flexed elbow or a tissue
  • throwing away used tissues and cleaning hands afterwards
  • not sharing food or water bottles.

Give them a small bottle of hand sanitiser to keep in their bag and show them how to use it safely.

Talk with your children about any changes to regular routines they may notice at school. Changes may be stressful or unsettling and children may be worried.

Find out more information for Parents and children.

Teachers should follow the advice given at Department of Education's School operations.


You can return to work if you are not isolating or in quarantine. Talk to your employer about their return to work plan. Find out more about managing COVID-19 in workplaces.


Take a shopping list with you so you can shop quickly.

You can use your shopping list to minimise the number of times you visit the shops. Try including more long-life foods or try some recipes for when you are short on fresh ingredients.

Visit the shops at quieter times like weekdays in the mid-morning or afternoon so you come in contact with fewer people.

Wipe down shared surfaces like trolleys and EFTPOS machines and make sure your hands are clean too.

Rinse fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) with water. Don’t use soap on anything you will eat.

Find supermarkets and local businesses doing home delivery. Ask them to leave your groceries outside the house so you can keep your distance from the delivery person.

Medical care

Keep seeing your doctor for advice and to manage any chronic health conditions.

If you are feeling unwell, call ahead before you go to the doctor so they can prepare for your visit.

Call ahead to check if your appointment is on time. Let the staff know you have arrived and will be waiting outside or in your car away from other patients.

Ask your doctor if telehealth services are available.

Hospitals and GP clinics may have new rules for waiting areas so entertainment such as magazines and toys may have been removed. Bring your own if you need something to do while you wait.

Clean your hands after touching shared surfaces such as EFTPOS machines and doors.

Order and pick up your medication at the same time. If you need to wait at the pharmacy, be sure to socially distance.

Sports and exercise

Sports for players, coaches and other participants

Make sure everyone washes their hands properly and regularly, especially after touching shared equipment. Everyone should bring their own towel and drink bottle and should not share.

Instead of high fives or handshakes, get creative in celebrating with elbow bumps or cheering while keeping a safe distance from others.

Coaches should keep a spray bottle of disinfectant handy to regularly clean and wipe down shared equipment. Keep separate areas for used and sanitised equipment so no one is confused.

Avoid mingling between groups and make sure everyone knows they should stay home if they feel unwell.

Sports for spectators

Wash your hands properly and regularly and socially distance from others by keeping 1.5 metres away from everyone else.

Practice good hygiene by keeping hand sanitiser and tissues with you and by using designated spectator seating or waiting areas. Follow signage at venues and use separate entry and exit points where possible.

If the venue has an activity sign on sheet for spectators, register your attendance.

Stay home if you’re unwell.

Public transport

Buses, trains and ferries

Try to avoid peak hours and minimise your contact with other passengers. You can distance yourself by:

  • standing away from others at a stop, platform or terminal
  • leaving space between you and the person in front of you when you get on the vehicle
  • sitting away from other people where possible
  • waiting for a later service if it’s crowded
  • following staff advice.

Use contactless payment such as go cards and pre-purchased tickets.

Practice good hygiene by:

  • minimising contact with shared surfaces like handles and doors
  • carrying hand sanitiser and using it before and after using public transport
  • wearing a mask where you know will be busy, especially if you cannot socially distance.

If you are unwell, stay home and contact your doctor for advice.

Taxis and ride sharing services

Maintain social distancing by:

  • sitting in the back
  • handling your own luggage
  • cleaning your hands after touching shared surfaces like EFTPOS machines and handles.

Make sure you take all rubbish with you.

Avoid using taxis or ride sharing services if you are unwell. If you must use one to seek medical assistance, use a face mask and let the driver know you are unwell so they can take additional precautions.

Driving private cars and other vehicles

When you stop for petrol and other essentials:

  • use hand sanitiser every time you get into your car before touching any other surfaces
  • use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons before you touch them
  • clean your hands after touching shared surfaces like EFTPOS machines.

Bring essentials from home and plan your trip to reduce the number of stops you need to make.

Use online services wherever possible to renew your licence and registration.