How to remain CovidSafe as restrictions ease

As Australia's vaccination rate climbs higher those of us living in Victoria, NSW and the ACT are looking forward to fewer public health restrictions. 

Meanwhile, those of us living in states without lockdowns are probably wondering what will happen when borders begin to open up more. 

Central to all of this is of course vaccination - it is our most effective tool in reducing the worst impacts of the virus. If you haven't already been vaccinated please do so, and encourage others to do so too. 

But we also need to keep up other CovidSafe habits we've picked up along the way. Here's our top tips for navigating this next stage of the pandemic.

- Keep up to date
Staying up to date with your state's public health measures and following them is still important. There will likely still be some restrictions on gatherings indoors, travelling between states, and isolating if you've come into contact. The best way to know what to do when is to find out from your state's health department.

- Don't ignore that sniffle
Even if you're vaccinated you can still catch and pass on COVID-19. Importantly the vaccine will keep you safe from the worst impacts of the virus, but not everyone around you may be able to be vaccinated. This is why knowing you have COVID-19 is important. If you have a runny nose, headache, cough, loss of smell or taste, fever, or any other COVID-19 symptom make sure you get tested and isolate. Tests are free and there is support available for people who need to isolate while waiting for a result. Please, always stay home if you feel sick and ask for help if you needed. 

- Mask up 
Wearing a mask is one of the single most effective things you can do to keep yourself and those around you safe from the virus. Masks help reduce transmission and are particularly useful if you're indoors or in settings where you can't physically distance. Keep one on you and you'll never be caught short! 

- Wash your hands!
Remember the start of 2020 and the videos showing us how to wash our hands for 20 seconds? Well that advice is still as important today. Maintaining good hand hygiene, such as washing your hands after sneezing and coughing, before eating, and when getting home is a great habit to maintain.

- See the great outdoors
Gathering outdoors or in well ventilated areas can help reduce any transmission risks. With summer around the corner be sure to slip, slop, slap when enjoying the sunshine. 

- Check In! 
Remember to scan the QR code using the relevant app in your state. This means if where you've been becomes an exposure site you'll be alerted and able to monitor for symptoms. It also means if you have COVID-19 health authorities can let people who may have been at the same places as you know too. The information is stored securely and not shared. 

- Help is always available
As we transition to the next stage of COVID-19 don't forget help is always available. Flourish Australia has continued to provide support throughout the pandemic and your wellbeing is our priority.

Where to find out more: 
New South Wales 
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19
https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/book-covid-vaccination

Victoria 
https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/book-your-vaccine-appointment

Queensland 
https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/novel-coronavirus-qld-clinicians
https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/protect-yourself-others/covid-19-vaccine/book/vaccination-locations

Australian Capital Territory 
https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/
https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/stay-safe-and-healthy/vaccine/book-a-vaccination-appointment