Protect Yourself

Everyone should stay home unless you are: shopping, receiving medical care, for compassionate reasons, exercising, or for work or education only if they cannot be done remotely. Members of one household can visit another household; if visitors are not from the same household you can have a maximum of ten visitors to your home.

Remember to practice good hand hygiene and social distancing.

Practising good hygiene

Good hygiene practises include:

  • washing your hands regularly for 20 to 30 seconds
  • using a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available
  • using soap and water if your hands are visibly soiled
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or coughing into your elbow
  • disposing of used tissues into a bin immediately and washing your hands afterwards
  • hand sanitiser is a convenient choice and can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others
  • hand sanitiser does not replace washing your hands after using the bathroom.
  • focus on maintaining good hand and respiratory hygiene instead of wearing gloves for protection.

ACT Health resource:

Physical (social) distancing

Physical distancing, also known as social distancing, can be very effective in slowing the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, within the community.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, you should keep your personal space between you and others to at least 1.5 metres whenever you are out in public. Physical distancing measures should also be implemented as much as possible in workplaces where working from home is not possible.

What is physical distancing?

Physical distancing means separating yourself from other people as much as possible when you’re in public places. The aim of physical distancing is to reduce transmission of infectious diseases.

This means you should:

  • Stay home whenever possible and only go out when it is essential.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and other people.
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people.
  • Use “tap and go” payments instead of cash.
  • Minimise visits to vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, elderly people, infants, or people with compromised immune systems. Many facilities, including hospital and aged care facilities, have specific rules and restrictions in place for visitors, so please check before you visit.
  • Follow the current restrictions on groups and gatherings .

It is important to stay socially connected, even while physically distancing. Make sure that you keep connected with others, including colleagues, friends and family, through phone, email, social media, and online work platforms when possible.

Don’t forget to practise good hygiene  at all times.

If you are unwell, you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

Use of masks

In general, if you are healthy, you do not need to wear a mask. This is especially true given there is no evidence of community transmission in the ACT. There is little evidence supporting the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people to prevent transmission in public.

Masks may be used for people who are unwell with respiratory symptoms (like coughing and sneezing) and people who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. Masks help contain infectious droplets from sick people and keep those around them safe.

If you are in self-quarantine or self-isolation, you should wear a surgical (single use) face mask if you need to leave your home for medical attention. You should also wear a surgical (single use) face mask if you have symptoms and are in the same room as other people in your home. For more information, please see our quarantine and isolation information .

Masks are recommended for healthcare workers when they are assessing, testing and treating patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. For more information please see our COVID-19 advice for healthcare workers.

For more information on the use of masks, please refer to advice from the Australian Government Department of Health.

By maintaining a safe distance from others and practising good hygiene , you can minimise your risk of contracting COVID-19 and play an active role in protecting those around you.

Keeping your home clean

  • focussing on good hygiene, especially hand hygiene, will reduce the risk of becoming ill and help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19
  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use a clean towel to dry your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands are not visibly dirty
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • cough/sneeze into your elbow or directly into a tissue, throw the tissue in a lined bin, and wash your hands
  • regularly clean frequently touched surfaces in the house e.g. door handles, light switches, kitchen area, fridge handle, bench tops, taps, remote controls, telephones, computer equipment, etc
  • cleaning surfaces with a detergent based product is important as the cleaning process physically removes germs
  • surfaces should be cleaned before applying a disinfectant or use a combination detergent/disinfectant product
  • carpets can be vacuumed, and hard floors should be mopped regularly using your regular cleaning products
  • wash clothes and linen as per your usual method. If someone in the household is sick you may wish to wash their laundry separately, wash in a hot wash (greater than 65°C for 10 mins) or add a laundry sanitiser to the wash cycle water (along with the detergent). Follow the directions on all laundry product labels. Always wash your hands after handling dirty laundry
  • if the weather allows, make sure shared spaces in the home have good airflow by opening a window or using air conditioning.

Distribution of personal protective equipment to the community and allied health services

The ACT Government acknowledges the important role the community sector plays in supporting and maintaining the wellbeing of individuals and families in the ACT. The health and wellbeing of community sector staff and clients is paramount and part of the of the ACT Government’s Community Support Package is dedicated specifically to the supply of Personal protective Equipment (PPE).

Requests for PPE can be submitted through completion of an online request form.

Further information for people with a Disability, Disability Support providers including NDIS providers and self-managing participants who use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be found at

Due to supply limitations requests for PPE will be prioritised based on current advice from the Chief Health Office,  ACT Health and the demonstrated need for PPE as outlined through an online request form. People who can access PPE through the National Medical stockpile are encouraged to do so.

Any questions or enquiries may be sent to the Community Services Directorate at

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: May 25 2020