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General guidance

The most effective way you can help prevent the spread of infection is by following our six steps and incorporating them into everything you do, both at home, in public, at school and in the workplace. Adults should help children follow the guidance.

Top six recommendations

1. Keep a distance of 2 metres whenever possible and always at least 1 metre. Avoid handshakes, hugs and kisses on the cheek

Transmission can happen when an infected person, e.g. coughs, sneezes or shouts and tiny droplets containing the virus are ejected into the air and spread over short distances. By keeping your distance and limiting close and physical contact, you can avoid droplet as well as contact spread.

Keep at least 1 metre away from others in public spaces - and 2 metres away whenever possible.

Keep a distance of at least 2 metres in situations with an increased risk of spreading infection or where you need to take special precautions, for example:

  • If you are unsure if your own or someone else's respiratory symptoms are COVID-19 symptoms. You might feel unwell on your way home from work or think that someone else looks sick.  
  • If you are with someone who is at higher risk and who is not fully vaccinated. 
  • During activities with heavy exhalation - singing, shouting, physical exertion, etc.
  • When staying in rooms with poor ventilation.

Furthermore, we recommend that you limit physical contact with others - do not shake hands, hug or kiss as a greeting - even if you do not have any symptoms. 

Other recommendations may apply if you are fully vaccinated.Learn more in the section:

Fully vaccinated people

2. Self-isolate and take a PCR test if you have symptoms of COVID-19

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate and take a PCR test. If your test is positive, you must remain in self-isolation - even if you have been vaccinated. 

To self-isolate means:

  • To stay at home and not have contact with anyone else other than the people you live with.
  • To avoid close physical contact with other members of your household.
  • To pay particular attention to hygiene and cleaning.

If you test positive for novel coronavirus or are a close contact of someone who is infected but are unable to self-isolate at home - for example, if your home is very small or if you live with someone who is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 - then your local municipality might offer you an out-of-home stay at a suitable facility. 

Please call your municipality to learn more about your options.

Further information

What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19

What to do if you test positive for novel coronavirus

3. Open windows and doors and ventilate your home regularly. Avoid being too many people together indoors

Airing out effectively prevents droplet spread indoors.

When someone e.g. coughs or sneezes most droplets fall to the ground within a few metres. Most of these droplets fall to the ground within a few metres, but the most minute droplets - the so-called microdroplets - can remain suspended in the air for some time which is why the risk of infection is higher indoors and when many people are gathered in small spaces for longer periods of time. 

Microdroplets accumulate in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. Therefore, you can prevent the spread of infection and reduce the concentration of airborne microdroplets by ventilation and creating a cross draft by opening windows and doors.

How to air out effectively 

If you do not have a ventilation system in your home, you can increase ventilation by:

  • Creating a cross draft by opening windows and doors.
  • Opening windows and doors for 5-10 minutes 4-5 times a day.
  • Airing out more often if several people are gathered indoors, for example, before and after you have had guests in your home.
  • Creating a draft every hour if you are together for an extended period of time.

However, by itself, increasing ventilation is not enough to safeguard people from exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. To protect yourself and your family, please continue to follow our general guidance:

4. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve

Proper cough etiquette prevents both droplet and contact spread.

We recommend that you:

  • Cough into your sleeve or a disposable tissue. Wash or sanitise your hands afterwards. 
  • If you cough into the palm of your hands, you must wash or sanitise your hands afterwards.

Download the poster 

Prevent infection


5. Wash your hands often or use hand sanitiser

Proper hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent contact spread. 

Washing your hands or using and hand sanitiser is equally effective. However, hand sanitisers only work properly when your hands are dry and not visibly dirty, so you should always wash your hands if they are visibly dirty or wet, after toilet visits or changing nappies, and before you handle food. Please remember to help chldren maintain good hand hygiene.

Further information

Good hand hygiene (film)

Hand sanitiser (film)

Hand hygiene (pamphlet) 

Hand hygiene (poster)

6. . Clean thoroughly and regularly, especially surfaces that are touched by many people

The risk of contact spread increases dramatically when you touch contact point and surfaces that are touched by many people, for example as door handles, hand rails, light switches, keyboards, computer mice, armrests, the edges of tables, toys, tools, utensils, taps, toilets, etc.

Clean contact point frequently and thoroughly using ordinary cleaning products and disinfectants.

Film - How to clean

Updated 03 MAJ 2021