From takeaway to exercise: Unravelling NSW’s virus laws

 

Australians are being urged to stay home as the government continues to enforce stricter measures in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

But questions have been raised around how it works while at home and if something as simple as ordering food is still safe.

It comes after an employee at a McDonald's in western Sydney tested positive for coronavirus on Monday.

NSW Health had given the all clear for the store to stay open as hygiene standards were being met and all 20 close contacts of the infected person were quarantined.

 

A McDonalds staff member in Sydney has tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images
A McDonalds staff member in Sydney has tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

"The health and safety of our people and our customers is our priority and McDonald's Australia implements strict cleaning, quality control and hygiene procedures throughout every shift at each of our restaurants," a spokesperson said.

They said the affected individual was working with the same people for the last fortnight which left little doubt as to which other staff members could have had direct contact.

Last week, the fast food chain announced it would stop customers from dining in at all its restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic.

So can you still order takeaway? We enlisted Fiona Stanaway, the senior clinical epidemiologist at the University of Sydney, to answer this and other important coronavirus queries.

IS IT SAFE TO EAT TAKEAWAY?

Choose the contactless delivery option if ordering online (most restaurants and delivery services are now offering this). This means that the food is paid for in advance and then left outside your door with no need for contact with the delivery person.

Remember that the containers that the food has arrived in may have been touched by someone. So remove the lids of containers then wash your hands before using a clean serving spoon to get the food out of the containers and onto a plate.

If buying from a restaurant without a delivery service, try to pay online or over the phone in advance to reduce your time in the shop.

When picking food up from a restaurant try to keep your distance from other customers (1.5 metres) as much as possible, even by waiting outside.

CAN I STILL EXERCISE?

Yes, exercising is fine but you if doing it outside you should do it by yourself, with members of your household or one other person in line with the government rules about limiting outdoor gatherings to 2 people.

There is also the option of indoor exercise if you have space. For example, many places are now holding dance classes via zoom and this is a good option that doesn't involve contact with others.

CAN I HAVE A FRIEND OVER?

No. Connect to friends using technology instead.

CAN MY CHILD HAVE A PLAYDATE?

Unfortunately no. The new rules for both indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to two people, but you should really be trying to avoid any unnecessary contact with others.

Playgrounds will be empty for the next little while as children are not allowed to have playdates.
Playgrounds will be empty for the next little while as children are not allowed to have playdates.

IS IT SAFE TO TAKE THE KIDS TO THE PARK FOR A PLAY OR BIKE RIDE?

Yes, you can go to the park or go for a bike ride. Just make sure to keep a safe distance from people not from your household - 1.5 metres.

CAN I STILL WALK THE DOG?

Yes you can. Again just make sure to keep a safe distance from other people.

SHOULD I CROSS THE ROAD TO AVOID PEOPLE?

What you need to understand about social distancing is not just the distance but time. There is a risk if you spend 15 minutes with someone in quite close contact, but if you are walking past someone in the street quickly then the risk is low.

Keep the 1.5m distance as best as you can when walking past someone on the footpath, but if it means you have to cross the road onto traffic to avoid someone then do not do that and place yourself at risk.

If you are waiting in a line at the supermarket or lining up to get food, because you are in the line that is where it is important to maintain the distance.

 

 

Originally published as From takeaway to exercise: Unravelling NSW's virus laws


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