How to Stay Safe

As we continue to live with COVID-19, there are important steps you should take to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and those who are most at risk.

The risk of catching or passing the infection to others is higher if you are not up to date with your vaccinations, when you are in close contact with the person infected with COVID-19, lack basic hygiene, or if you spend time in poorly ventilated or crowded indoor settings.

Use the below advice to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19.

COVIDsafe Settings

There are things we can all do to make ourselves and others safer. As you live and work, remember these COVIDSafe principles:

  • Carry a face mask when leaving home. Face masks are recommended for everyone aged 8 and above in some locations, including in sensitive settings such as hospitals and care facilities. See Face masks for more information.

  • We strongly recommend that you wear a face mask if you:
    • are indoors
    • have any COVID-19 symptoms
    • are with people who are at high risk to COVID-19
    • are in a space where you cannot physically distance.
  • There are no vaccination requirements for patrons to enter any venues, such as hospitality, retail, entertainment, or gyms.

  • Workplaces, schools, childcare centres, and early childhood education are open.

  • Get your next COVID-19 vaccine dose as soon as you are eligible. It is strongly recommended you have three doses of the vaccine for the best protection. Some people may be eligible for a fourth dose, while children 5-11 are recommended to have two doses. Book an appointment today at a state-run vaccination centre, GP, or pharmacy.

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested. If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you must report your result and isolate for five to seven days.

  • If you have COVID-19, or you are a contact of someone who does, read Your COVID Checklist for what to do. You must follow the checklist, including isolating if required.

  • There are limits and restrictions on attending hospitals and care facilities. See Coronavirus Victoria for more information.

COVIDsafe Gatherings

When organising or attending gatherings, consider ways to reduce the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Take extra precautions if someone has a higher chance of developing severe illness or complications from COVID-19 (including those not up to date with their vaccinations).

If after attending a gathering you learn you have COVID, or that someone you were with had COVID, follow the COVID Checklist to help keep yourself and others safe.

Checklist for attending a gathering

Follow these steps before and while you attend a small or large gathering:

  • ensure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination

  • take a rapid antigen test if you are visiting someone who is at a high-risk of severe illness from COVID-19

  • stay home if you are sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

  • maintain a physical distance of 1.5m from each other

  • wear a face mask in a space (indoor or outdoor) where you cannot physically distance

  • spend more time outdoors than indoors. Avoid poorly ventilated spaced, crowded indoor settings and prolonged contact with others

  • clean your hands with soap and water regularly. Carry a hand sanitiser with you

  • always cover your cough and sneeze into a tissue or a bent elbow

Checklist for hosts

This checklist is essential for hosting events or group gatherings:

  • does your space/venue have ventilation? If it is an indoor gathering, have good ventilation with open doors and windows, and minimise your time to under four hours

  • avoid your guests being in close contact with each other - try to create ways for people to physically distance (1.5 metres)

  • do not share plates, glasses, or cutlery as this increases the risk of transmission

  • keep a list of people who attended your gathering in case this is needed for contact tracing purposes

  • make sure there is access to soap and water or sanitiser, especially after any physical contact with others, and before preparing, serving, and eating food

  • invited guests who feel unwell should get tested and quarantine until they receive a negative result. If you wish, look into options to have them join your event virtually.

Hygiene, Ventilation & Physical Distancing

Hygiene

Good hygiene is critical for slowing the spread of COVID-19. Everyone should be taking the following hygiene actions:

  • wash your hands regularly with for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water or use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 percent alcohol

  • wash your hands when you get home, arrive at other people’s homes, at venues or at work

  • wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or using the toilet

  • cover your nose or mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw it away and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve

  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

  • if you are wearing a face mask, leave it on

  • do not share drink bottles, glasses, crockery, or cutlery other than with people you live with

  • remember to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly.

Ventilation

Bringing outdoor air into your home or business helps keep COVID-19 virus particles from accumulating inside.

  • if it is safe, open as many doors and windows as possible to bring outdoor air into your home. While it is better to open windows as wide as possible, even having a window open slightly can help

  • leave doors open in hallways and corridors

  • fans improve air flow even without an open window. If you are using a ducted system or air conditioner, change the filter regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions

  • turn ceiling fans on a low setting or use a pedestal fan in ‘swing’ mode to help air circulate, and clear corners where virus particles may gather

  • run evaporative coolers or ducted heating systems once or twice a day in fan-only mode to flush rooms with outside air

  • if possible, consider a portable air clearer or purifier for frequently used rooms with no windows as they can help reduce airborne contaminants in a confined space.

Maintain your physical distance

  • Greet people with a smile or wave - do not shake hands, hug, or kiss as a greeting.

  • Stay 1.5 metres away from people where you can.

  • Avoid crowds, especially indoors.

  • When waiting in line or walking through busy areas, be patient, give others space so they can give you yours.