Simple act you’re still not allowed to do

 

You might have seen people shaking hands or even hugging one another, but they shouldn't be.

According to chief nursing and midwifery officer Alison McMillan, "we have reached a point at the moment where a handshake is no longer something we should be doing socially".

Prof McMillan said on Sunday that the traditional greeting has become "very much part of our culture" but is now something "we should avoid at this point in time".

She said people who live together can still hug one another but "when it comes to the broader community, and hugging others outside of your family unit, then no, we really think at this point in time we need to think of innovative and different ways to show a welcome or a greeting to somebody, but it's not a hug".

"At some point perhaps in the future we may reach a point where we will see hugging again, but not at this point in time," she said.

RELATED: Scott Morrison declares 'no more handshakes'

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Ms McMillan's comments come as 17 new deaths in Victoria pushed Australia's death toll past 500.

502 people have now died from COVID-19 in Australia since the nightmare coronavirus pandemic began.

The majority of those deaths (415 total) have been in Victoria, and within the past six weeks as the state was hit with a second wave of infections.

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan. Picture: Mick Tsikas
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan. Picture: Mick Tsikas

 

Back in mid-March Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Australians it was no longer safe to handshake.

"No more handshakes," he said during a live address.

"This is a new thing we've moved to, something I will be practising, my cabinet members and others are practising.

"This is not something that was necessarily a key requirement weeks ago but it's just another step up now."

 

 

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard recommended that people replace hand shaking with other greetings, saying it was "not necessary".

"It is a very Australian thing to do to put your hand out and shake hands for example," he said.

"I would be suggesting it is time that Aussies actually gave each other a pat on the back for the time being.

 

 

In June, Australia's deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth conceded it was "a hard thing to remember" not to hug or shake hands, but was more important than other measures like face masks.

"You've got to catch yourself out now when you see your friends and family who you haven't seen for a long time, but these things are nonetheless important and are arguably far more important then say wearing masks," he said.

"Importantly as well for those states where restrictions are lifting, that doesn't imply a lifting of our personal behaviour standards that we've become so used to," Dr Coatsworth said.

Originally published as Simple act you're still not allowed to do