Checklist: Actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Updated 15 May 2020

This checklist has been developed in response to the COVID-19 infectious respiratory disease pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, the most recently discovered coronavirus. Public health measures and restrictions that were implemented by the Australian and New Zealand governments since mid-March 2020 have been successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19. This checklist has been updated, following the easing of some restrictions in mid-May 2020.

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COVID-19 is mainly spread through contact with respiratory droplets containing the virus, when someone:

  • Inhales droplets containing the virus when a person with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes.
  • Touches a person or surface that is contaminated with droplets containing the virus, then touches their eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter the body and cause illness.

The following actions should be taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19

  • Hand hygiene is the top priority. Regular and thorough hand washing with soap and water throughout the day, particularly after using the bathroom and before eating is vital for preventing infections. Alcohol-based hand-gel can be used to sanitise hands when soap and water isn’t available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Also avoid shaking hands or any other greeting that involves contact.
  • Respiratory hygiene is also a priority. This involves covering the mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing, then disposing of the used tissue immediately. It is also important to maintain at least 1.5 metres distance away from anyone, especially if they cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you are unwell. If anyone has a fever, cough or breathing difficulty, they should stay home, seek medical attention (call in advance), and follow the local health authority instructions. Quarantine of 14 days is required for people who have travelled, even if they do not feel unwell. Self-isolation is required if contact has been made with someone with COVID-19 symptoms, or symptoms develop following contact with someone who has COVID-19. For information go to
  • Australia: Self-isolation (self-quarantine) for coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • New Zealand: COVID-19 – Self-isolation for close contacts 
  • Follow government advice and restrictions. It is important that everyone complies with government advice restrictions, that include the actions listed above and physical/social distancing measures

Additional advice

  • Do not stop or reduce your usual medicines or therapies without discussing this with your doctor.
  • People with immunodeficiencies need to continue to have immunoglobulin replacement therapy, by monthly intravenous infusions in hospitals or weekly subcutaneous infusions at home. Hospital infection control policies are in place with extra precautions to isolate patients from those with COVID-19.
  • Consider requesting telehealth (video or phone) consultations from your doctor, if required and available.
  • Consider having the influenza vaccine if you are well.
  • Try to keep well by getting enough sleep, healthy eating, managing stress and regular exercise (whilst complying with government restrictions on social distancing), in addition to the actions listed above. 
  • Check the ASCIA COVID-19 webpage for further information.  

© ASCIA 2020  
ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand. ASCIA resources are based on published literature and expert review, however, they are not intended to replace medical advice. The content of ASCIA resources is not influenced by any commercial organisations.