Coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention

You might catch coronavirus (COVID-19) if:

  • someone with the virus sneezes or coughs onto you
  • someone with the virus coughed or sneezed onto a surface (like a door handle) that you touch, and you get the infected droplets on your hands and then transfer them to your mouth, nose or eyes when you touch your face or eat.

All Australians must stay home unless:

  • shopping for essentials - food and necessary supplies;
  • medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements;
  • exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements;
  • work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely.

Self-quarantine at home also applies for:

  • Australians over 70 years of age;
  • Australians over 60 years of age who have existing health conditions or comorbidities;
  • Indigenous Australians over the age of 50 who have existing health conditions or comorbidities.

These groups should limit contact with others as much as possible.

There are 5 ways we can all help stop the spread of viruses

  1. Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  3. Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth. And avoid shaking hands.
  4. Stay home as much as possible, especially if you are sick.
  5. Practice social distancing, which includes staying 1.5m away from others as much as you can.

Looking after yourself by eating a healthy, balanced dietgetting regular physical activitysleeping well and reducing stress is important all the time.

Protect yourself and those around you, Stay home if you're unwell, avoid touching your face, nose and mouth, stay 1.5 metres away from other people (as much as you can), cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands regularly


Based on current advice, only people who have travelled overseas, are unwell and have access to a face-mask should use it. For anyone else who does not have symptoms, a face-mask is not necessary.

Public gatherings

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, all non-essential gatherings should not go ahead.

Non-essential businesses are restricted from opening.

All essential day-to-day activities, such as school and work, can proceed as normal.

Anyone who is feeling unwell should stay home from work and school.

For more information, visit the Australian Government website.

Visiting hospitals

We know hospital visits play an important part for a patient's recovery. However, many in hospital are already more vulnerable to diseases and complications.

In line with recommendations to practice social distancing to slow down the spread of COVID-19, we are asking the public to limit visits to family, friends and other loved ones in hospitals and to consider other ways of keeping in touch, such as phone calls.

Individual hospitals have different initiatives in place, so it’s best to check with the hospital or your loved one before you visit.

If you are sick, you should not visit anyone in hospital.

Visiting aged care facilities

The outbreak of any virus in an aged care facility can cause significant problems. The Australian Government has put in place new advice for aged care facilities, including restrictions on visitors.

If you are sick, you should not visit anyone in an aged care facility.

For more information, visit the Australian Government’s website.

Household cleaning

We know that germs can survive outside of the body, on surfaces, after a person coughs or sneezes. Regular cleaning is important for reducing the spread of germs and minimising the number of germs surviving on surfaces.

Learn more about how you can keep your surfaces at home clear of germs through routine household cleaning recommendations to reduce the risk of viral infections, or recommendations for COVID-19 cleaning and disinfection.