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Preventing the spread of infection at work

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Simple hygiene practices, similar to those used to protect against the flu, can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

For workers:

  • Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues immediately after use and wash your hands or apply hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth and shaking hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is unwell. Try to stay 1.5 metres away from anyone coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you are unwell.

For employers:

  • Provide hand washing facilities and make sure these are kept clean, properly stocked and in good working order.
  • Provide soap or alcohol-based hand sanitiser if available, tissues and cleaning supplies.
  • Promote good hygiene practices, e.g. display hand hygiene posters
  • Keep the workplace clean and hygienic. Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces such as door handles and workstations helps prevent contamination.
  • Visit the Smartraveller website for advice about overseas business travel.
  • Encourage workers who are sick with respiratory illness to stay home until they are recovered.
  • If someone becomes ill with respiratory symptoms at work, isolate them by placing them in a room or an area away from others.
  • Arrange for the person to be sent home or access medical assistance.
  • If a worker is confirmed to have COVID-19, call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for advice. Inform co-workers about possible exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 but maintain confidentiality. Advise workers to seek immediate medical advice if they develop symptoms or are concerned about their health.
  • Follow advice from health authorities on social distancing and public gatherings.

Restricted businesses (detailed at Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction (No. 5) which include dining in and personal  services, non-therapeutic massage, saunas and bathhouses and food courts are subject to a maximum number of customers at any one time determined by the size  of the premises. For all other workplaces, social distancing can be achieved by keeping workers 1.5m apart, reducing the number of workers in a given area, organising schedules to reduce workers in certain areas onsite and other strategies. For more information, visit or

For businesses where workers are at increased risk from contact with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 (e.g. healthcare industry), additional infection prevention and control practices are required. Guidance for specific industries is available at