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Keep people away from you: Advice for older Victorians as COVID-19 restrictions ease

With Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions set to ease at 11.59pm tonight, vulnerable people are being warned to continue to take precautions to protect themselves.

Senior Professorial Fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, Professor Robert Booy, has urged the elderly and immunocompromised to keep enforcing social distancing strictly.

“If you are one metre away from someone there’s a chance of them coughing or sneezing or breathing on you. Two metres makes a massive difference,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“Keeping people away from you is really important.”

Professor Booy told vulnerable Australians to ask those who come too close to them to back off.

“You can, with a big smile, make an obvious, dramatic step back and say ‘hey, it’s good to see you but we’ve all got to protect ourselves’,” he said.

“The risk of a second wave is real.”

But Professer Booy says the risk posed by COVID-19 will decline over time.

“The way these viruses evolve and mutate is to lesser virulence,” he said.

“That means they get less awful, they’re less likely to kill you. They tend to become more like the common cold.”

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