Department of Health

Planning and preparedness tools

Physical distancing in the workplace and with colleagues

How can we best implement physical distancing in the consultation setting, including practices with small consultation rooms?

Physical distancing is to be practised within clinics and wards, between staff and patients, and between staff and staff. This includes:

  • Waiting room chairs separated by at least 1.5 metres.
  • Direct interactions between staff conducted at a distance.
  • Staff and patients to remain at least 1.5 metres apart with the exception of clinical examinations and procedures.
  • Use droplet and contact precautions (gown, gloves, eye protection and single-use face mask) when assessing a patient with respiratory symptoms in a community setting.

Restrictions on visitors to health services

Visitor restrictions are in place to help reduce limit the spread of COVID-19 into health services by people who may pose a risk and do not have an important reason to be there.

Information about current restrictions on visitors to health services can be found in the Pandemic Visitors to Hospitals and Care Facilities Order at the Pandemic Order Register

Visitors are asked to fill in pre-attendance screening based on clinical and epidemiological factors, such as whether they are:

  • awaiting a COVID-19 test result
  • unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fever or loss or change in sense of smell or taste.
  • presenting with a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees
  • newly arrived in Australia (within the last 14 days)
  • awaiting clearance from isolation having been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • within 14 days of being exposed to COVID-19 (for example, contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or at a Tier 1 exposure site).

Reviewed 26 October 2022

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