Protect yourself & others

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect those who are most at risk, it is important that you take the recommended steps to protect yourself and others.


Surgical masks

If you have COVID-19, wearing a surgical mask can help to prevent spreading it to others.

If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask. There is little evidence that widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people prevents transmission in public.

Find out more in our fact sheet about the use of surgical masks.

How to slow the spread

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, practise good hygiene and social distancing and follow the rules for public gatherings and self-isolation.

  • Good hygiene
    Good hygiene includes washing your hands, covering your coughs and cleaning your home or workplace.
  • Social distancing
    Find out how to practise social distancing in public, at home, at work, and in schools.
  • Public gatherings
    Understand the limits that apply to essential gatherings and non-essential gatherings.
  • Self-isolation
    Self-isolation means staying at home for 14 days. Find out who must self-isolate and how to self-isolate.


There is no vaccine for COVID-19, but there is one for the flu.

You should get your flu shot when it’s available. Getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time can make you very ill.

Scientists from around the world are working on developing a vaccine for COVID-19. The World Health Organisation believes this may be available within 18 months.


Page last updated on 30 March 2020


Resource(s) Australian Government, Department of Health: