Australians are being reminded not to hug people outside of their household as fears spread that our social habits are helping spread COVID-19.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Sunday that some people were now forgetting to do the basics when it comes to stopping the spread like  “not washing your hands that one time, forgetting your mask, not wearing it properly, and hugging someone who’s outside your household”.

“Essentially the transmission that’s still occurring is sometimes because people have forgotten those really basic but very essential elements,” he said.

“These are simple but also easy to forget.”

His reminder was backed up by  federal Chief Nursing Officer Alison McMillan, who said “when it comes to hugs, I encourage you to if you are within your family unit with people you live with, your children or your loved ones, of course, they live with you, you can hug.’’

“But when it comes to the broader community and hugging others outside of your family unit then no.

“Handshakes are something we should avoid at this point in time.’

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