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Physical distancing means minimizing human interactions, not eliminating them completely, like you would do in quarantine.

That means:

  • closing down schools (from daycares through to universities) temporarily,
  • restricting access to hospitals and nursing homes
  • cancelling mass gatherings like sporting events
  • curtailing all non-essential travel and urging companies to have their employees work at home.

But people can move about, go out and buy groceries and go to work if they have essential jobs, like nurses, power plant workers and grocery store clerks. In some countries, like Italy, they limit the number of customers in a store to 10 at a time. In South Korea, they have special daycare facilities for essential workers, and have limited class size to 10. There are some grey areas, such as people who ask if they can hang out with their neighbours if they sit apart.

Are you worried about friends or family who are not taking distancing seriously? To make sure they stay safe and keep their distance, here’s how to gently coax them to do the right thing.

Read the rules in your province with our quick guide to what’s allowed and open, or closed and banned.