What you need to know about COVID-19
We need to work together to help stop the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
All Australians are required to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go outside.
Australians are permitted to go outside for the essentials, such as:
- shopping for food
- exercising – outdoors avoiding contact with other people
- going out for medical needs
- providing care or support to another individual in a place other than your home
- going to work if you cannot work from home
Attending barbers and hairdressers is allowed, but the four square metre rule per person must be strictly observed and personal contact during the patron’s visit should be minimised where possible.
Australians are strongly encouraged to work from home where they can.
If you are sick, you must not attend your workplace. You must stay at home and away from others.
All international travel is banned. Domestic travel is to be avoided.
The one person per four square metre rule applies to all gatherings. It is essential that KN95 masks are used to protect yourself from getting infected.
Visits to your home should be kept to a minimum, with a very small number of guests. Extended family gatherings, barbeques, birthday parties and house parties are not permitted.
The following gatherings are restricted:
- Weddings – no more than 5 people in attendance including the bride and groom
- Funerals – no more than 10 people are to attend, with states and territories to consider exemptions in cases of hardship.
Businesses that will close and activities banned from midnight 25 March 2020:
- Food courts – no dine in, takeaway only options available
- Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours
- Auctions and open house inspections
- Amusement parks and arcades
- Play centres, community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, spa, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas and wellness centres will all close.
These closures are in addition to previous restrictions already announced for the following
- Pubs, registered and licensed clubs, (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation).
- Gyms and indoor sporting venues.
- Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos and night clubs.
- Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery.
- Religious gatherings, places of worship.
Restrictions on fitness activities
Boot camps and personal training sessions are limited to a maximum of 10 people with strict social distancing rules observed.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing includes staying at home when you are unwell and keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people wherever possible. It is important to minimise physical contact especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions.
Aged care restrictions
Special restrictions remain in place for aged care facilities to protect older Australians. Further information for residents of residential aged care services, their family members and visitors can be found at: www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources
What is a coronavirus and COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This new coronavirus originated in Hubei Province, China and the disease is named COVID-19.
How is this coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:
- Direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared.
- Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes.
- Touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.
Who needs to isolate?
All people who arrived in Australia from midnight 15 March 2020, or think they may have been in close contact with a confirmed care of coronavirus, are required to undergo a precautionary self-isolate for 14 days.
What does isolate in your home mean?
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it spreading to other people. You might also be asked to stay at home if you may have been exposed to the virus.
Staying at home means you:
- do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
- ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
- do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home
For more information, visit www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources
What do I do if I develop symptoms?
If you develop serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
If you believe you have been exposed to, or have COVID-19, you should phone the National Coronavirus Helpline (1800 020 080) for advice, rather than your GP, or local health service.
Who is most at risk
In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are:
- travellers who have recently been overseas
- those who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
- people in detention facilities
- people in group residential settings
People who are more at risk of serious illness if they get the virus are:
- people with compromised immune systems (eg. cancer)
- elderly people
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as they have higher rates of chronic illness
- people with chronic medical conditions
- people in group residential settings
- very young children and babies*
*At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.
How is the virus treated?
There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 available at this time. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts
If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.