Social distancing is being touted as the key way to fight the spread of coronavirus.

There are now bans on non-essential group gatherings, while locations which attract large numbers of people in close proximity, including theatres, cinemas, pubs, clubs and places of worship are closed around the country. State and Federal Governments are pleading with us to do our part to stop the virus spreading by practising social distancing.

Unclear of exactly what you should be doing to adhere to social distancing? Here’s what you should know.

What is it?

Social distancing is a broad term that incorporates ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases by reducing public social interactions. It means we should all keep 1.5 metres away from each other and avoid social gatherings. We should also self-isolate if unwell and avoid contact with anyone confirmed to have coronavirus. It also means where avoiding public transportation, limiting non-essential travel and working from home where possible.

How can I help reduce the spread of germs?

Abiding by the advice given by health and government authorities is the first step in reducing the spread of germs in public.

At home you should:

  • Practise good hand hygiene
  • Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces around the house
  • Increase ventilation
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Limit trips in public to only those which are necessary
  • Cancel any travel plans.

At work you should:

  • Work from home if you can
  • Utilise technology by holding meetings via video conferencing or phone calls
  • Practise good hand hygiene
  • Disinfect surfaces regularly
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Cancel non-essential business travel both domestically and internationally

How long will we need to practise social distancing?

The Federal Government has warned any measures taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus will need to be adhered to for at least six months, and that includes social distancing. Other countries overseas have banned gatherings of more than just two people, so the measures may need to scale up if the spread of virus cannot be contained.