Date published: 
25 March 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

Starting today, every Australian mobile phone will be sent a text message from the Australian Government with important steps each person can take to protect their own health, the health of their families and the health of the whole community from the coronavirus.

As the spread of the coronavirus increases, it’s vital every Australian understands the practical action they must take to look after themselves and help us protect those most at risk.

The text message will read:

Coronavirus Aus Gov msg: To stop the spread, stay 1.5m from others, follow rules on social gatherings, wash hands, stay home if sick. aus.gov.au

The message was endorsed by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, and was limited to 150 characters. Text messages will continue to be used as one of the range communications from the government to the Australian people, to re-inforce the importance of abiding by new restrictions and social distancing to save lives.

Nearly 36 million messages will be sent over coming days and we thank Telstra, Optus and Vodafone for their support in delivering this important message.  

We need every Australian to do their bit and understand how serious this health crisis is.

Australians should follow these simple actions to stop the spread of coronavirus:

  • Be at least 1.5 metres away from everyone and don’t gather with others
  • If you're sick, stay at home
  • Wash your hands and do it often
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow and not your hands
  • Don't touch your face at all, even if it itches
  • And if you’ve returned from overseas or in isolation you must adhere to the rules

These measures will help us all to stop the spread of this virus and protect lives.

Staying away from others is not the Australian way of life but it's essential to our future and how we overcome coronavirus.

Ministers: