Protecting yourself and others from COVID-19

There are steps you can take to make sure you and the people around you stay safe.

Get vaccinated

The COVID-19 vaccines will provide you with an increase in protection against severe illness from COVID-19. We follow the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group (ATAGI) who make recommendations on who should be vaccinated.

Staying up to date with your vaccinations gives you the best protection.

Book a vaccination appointment  

Wear masks where needed

Wearing a face mask can help protect you and those around you.

Face masks stop viruses from spreading through the air. This means you are less likely to catch or spread the virus.

States and territories have different rules for when you should wear a mask. Check your local health department’s website for the latest advice. 

It’s a good idea to wear a face mask when: 

  • in indoor public spaces including public transport, clinics and hospitals 
  • you are unable to physically distance from others 
  • you have tested positive, or think you have COVID-19, and are around other people.

To use a face mask properly you should:

  • wash or sanitise your hands before putting it on or taking it off
  • make sure it covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly under your chin
  • avoid touching the front of your mask while wearing or removing it
  • keep it in place – don't hang it around your neck or under your nose
  • use a new single use mask each time
  • wash and dry reusable masks after use and store in a clean dry place.

Masks help stop the spread of viruses and reduce our risk of getting sick. 

There are many good reasons for wearing them. 

We wear masks to protect ourselves or to help protect more vulnerable people.

We may be required to wear a mask when using public transport, or catching a plane, or when visiting a medical or high risk facility.

If you see someone wearing a mask respect their choice. And keep a mask handy, so you can use it when needed. 

Maintain physical distance

It is harder for the virus to spread when there is more space between you and others. 

Physical distancing means: 

  • keeping 1.5 metres away from others wherever possible 
  • avoiding physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses 
  • practising extra care on public transport 
  • avoiding crowds and large gatherings 
  • practising good hygiene
  • getting tested and staying at home if you have any cold or flu symptoms. 

Avoid high-risk settings

You should avoid entering high-risk settings unless seeking immediate medical care, especially if you: 

  • are exposed to COVID-19 

  • are feeling any COVID-19 or flu symptoms 

  • have tested positive to COVID-19. 

High-risk settings include: 

  • residential aged and disability care services 
  • In-home care and disability care 
  • hospitals and other health care settings. 

Many people in high-risk settings are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. It’s important to take extra care when visiting these settings. 

You should only enter high-risk settings when: 

  • at least 7 days has passed after testing positive 
  • you have no symptoms of COVID-19. 

When entering high-risk settings, you can protect yourself and others with COVID-19 safe practices including: 

  • wearing a mask 

  • being up to date with vaccinations 

  • practicing good personal hygiene. 

Practice good hygiene

By keeping good hygiene, you can protect yourself and others around you from the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Steps you can take include: 

  • washing your hands often for 20 seconds with soap and water 
  • using alcohol-based hand sanitisers when you can’t use soap and water 
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth 
  • ensuring indoor spaces are well ventilated 
  • cleaning and disinfecting surfaces you use often, like benchtops, desks and doorknobs 
  • cleaning and disinfecting objects you use often, like mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes. 

COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments

Oral treatments are available for people with mild to moderate COVID 19 who are at high risk of becoming very sick.

You need to start oral antiviral treatments within 5 days of symptoms starting. Have an early discussion with your GP or nurse practitioner whether oral antiviral treatment suits your health needs. It's also important to discuss and have a plan in place for getting treatment if you test positive.

Read more about oral treatments for COVID-19

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