Physical (Social) Distancing

Last modified: 
12/21/2020 - 08:18

Limiting close face-to-face contact with others is a good way to limit the spread of COVID-19.

What is physical (social) distancing?

Physical distancing means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.

To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least two metres, or six feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor public spaces.

In private households, it is strongly recommended you maintain physical distance with those in your Friendship Circle.

Why keep physical distance?

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about two metres, or six feet) for a long time. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby.

The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least two metres, or six feet away from others when possible, even if you—or they—do not have any symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

If you are sick with COVID-19, have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is important to stay home and away from other people until it is safe to be around others.

Tips for physical distancing

  • Keep your circles small: keep a dedicated social circle as much as you can. Limiting the amount of different people you spend time with can help limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Keep your spaces large: When you’re with others, larger spaces are better – and outdoors is always best.
  • Wear a non-medical mask: It’s not always going to be easy to keep physical distance. Bring a non-medical mask with you when you go out, and wear it when it’s tough to keep physical distance. Find out where to get one here.

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