How to protect yourself and others — coronavirus (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).


  • Stay home if you are sick
  • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested
  • Stay 1.5 metres away from other people—think two big steps
  • Wash your hands often, using soap and water or hand sanitiser
  • Sneeze or cough into your arm or a tissue. Then put the tissue in the bin
  • Wear a face mask when you are not able to keep 1.5 metres away from other people or whenever mandatory face masks are required.

Do not

  • Go near people if you are coughing or sneezing
  • Touch your mouth, nose and eyes
  • Shake hands
  • Hug or kiss people.

Restrictions on meeting up with other people, in homes and in public places like restaurants and parks, are changing often. To find out what current restrictions in Queensland are, visit Restrictions in Queensland.

Advice for people most at risk of getting serious illness from COVID-19

Some people are more likely to get really sick with COVID-19. As restrictions continue to ease in Queensland, people still need to take extra steps to protect themselves and those most at risk. See below our advice on who is at greater risk and how to protect them.

Those at greatest risk are:

Social (physical) distancing

Social distancing (also called physical distancing) is one way to help slow the spread of viruses and can help protect the people in our community who are most at risk of getting really sick from COVID-19.

Why social distancing matters. Social distancing of 1.5 metres decreases the exposure of coronavirus (COVID-19). With no distancing 1 person infects 2.5 people every 5 days, leading to 406 people infected in 30 days. With 50% less exposure 1 person infects 1.25 people in 5 days leading to 15 people infected in 30 days. With 75% less exposure 1 person infects 0.625 people in 5 days, leading to 2.5 people infected in 30 days.

Practical tips