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Social distancing

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of viruses. Social distancing includes:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Keep 1.5 metres away from others as much as possible.
  • Avoid shaking hands, kissing or hugging others.
  • If you can, work from home.
  • Avoid gatherings that aren’t essential.

Practicing social distancing can help protect the people in our community who are most at risk.

All Australians should 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 65 years of age who have existing health conditions or comorbidities;
  • First Nations people over the age of 50 who have existing health conditions or comorbidities.

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

Flatten the curve: coronavirus (COVID-19)

By now you've probably heard people talking about flattening the curve, so we created this short video to show you what this means for Queenslanders.

Duration 00:00:30

Coronavirus video - Social Distancing

closed captions icon Duration 00:00:30

There are practical things you can do, to protect those more susceptible to the virus.

Households

  • Practice good hand and cough/sneeze hygiene
  • Avoid handshaking and other physical greetings
  • Regularly clean shared high-touch surfaces, such as tables, kitchen benches and doorknobs
  • Increase the amount of fresh air by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning
  • Where possible, buy more goods and services online so you limit visits to the shop
  • Consider what travel and outings are necessary, both individual and family, and go to open places such as parks

Social distancing in the workplace

To reduce the spread of germs in the workplace:

  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Consider if large gatherings can be rescheduled, staggered or cancelled
  • Stop handshaking and other physical greetings
  • Hold meetings via video conferencing or phone call
  • Defer large face-to-face meetings
  • Reconsider non-essential business travel
  • Hold essential meetings outside in the open air if possible
  • Promote good hand and cough/sneeze hygiene and provide hand sanitisers for all staff and workers
  • Take lunch outside rather than in the lunch room
  • Clean and disinfect shared high-touch surfaces regularly
  • Consider opening windows and adjusting air conditioning for more fresh air
  • Limit food handling and shared food in the workplace
  • Promote strictest hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts

Social distancing in schools

To reduce the spread of germs or viruses in schools:

  • If your child is sick, do not send them to school (or childcare)
  • Clean hands when entering school and at regular intervals
  • Defer activities that lead to mixing between classes and years
  • Avoid queuing, handholding and assemblies
  • Promote a regular handwashing schedule
  • Clean and disinfect shared high-touch surfaces regularly
  • Conduct lessons outdoors where possible
  • Consider opening windows and adjusting air conditioning for more fresh air
  • Promote strictest hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts

Find out more about social distancing and avoiding public gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups.

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.