Physical Distancing and Masks

Last Updated: January 6, 2022

Physical Distancing

Travel and Distancing Icons

What Does Physical Distancing Mean?

  • Keep a distance of two metres from the nearest person
  • If possible, cancel group events and hold meetings virtually rather than in-person
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Do not shake hands, hug, or engage in physical contact with other people, especially if they are sick
  • Practice good hand hygiene:
    Wash your hands with soap and water regularly after social contact, before meals, and often in between, or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water is not available
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cough into your sleeve

Watch the 2-minute video below for physical distancing guidelines and how to practice good hygiene to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

With the airborne nature of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, physical distancing of 2 metres may be insufficient. This variant is highly contagious and likely travels through the air at farther distances. Vaccination and high quality masks likely represent the best way to prevent infection.

Coping with Distancing

All of us collectively are being asked to work together to protect each other. You are part of the solution and saving lives by isolating yourself. You can counterbalance the isolation by actively trying to connect with other people. 

Be creative and use virtual options to build that psychological closeness. Additionally, create a daily routine and be sure to exercise. 

Watch the video below to learn more from a clinical psychologist about the impact of physical or social distancing and what we can do to adjust or cope with this change.

For more strategies to cope with fear, anxiety, and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our Your Wellbeing page


The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is highly contagious and airborne. While it may cause less severe disease, we are uncertain whether this is true in immunosuppressed people.

Therefore, we recommend wearing a mask when indoors with people outside your family. Cloth masks are no longer sufficiently protective against the Omicron variant. We recommend KN95 or N95 masks. If these are not available, a 3- or 4-ply surgical masks may be sufficient. 

Dr Benchimol and Dr Kaplan photos

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