How to assess your COVID-19 risk

As public health measures ease, it’s important to assess your own COVID-19 risk when attending a gathering, event or group activity. These 5 key factors can help you assess your risk:

  • Vaccination status
  • People
  • Space
  • Time
  • Place

Vaccination status

Is your COVID-19 vaccination up to date?

Being up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination can:

  • prevent you from becoming seriously ill, becoming hospitalized or dying due to COVID-19; and
  • limit the spread of COVID-19.

You can book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment online.


How many people will you be interacting with?

Interacting with more people increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Consider reducing the number of people you're interacting or in close contact with.


Will your interactions with others involve close contact with people?

The closer you are to people, the greater the risk of COVID-19. To lower your risk you should consider physical distancing with a minimum distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between you and other people.

Wearing a mask indoors and outdoors when you cannot maintain physical distancing also reduces your risk.


How long will you be interacting with other people?

The longer your visit with others, the greater the risk of COVID-19 infection. Having close contact with others for longer than 15 minutes greatly increases your risk.

You should consider reducing the time you spend interacting with people outside your household or usual social group.


Will you be interacting with others indoors or outdoors?

Interacting indoors increases the risk of COVID-19 infection. Where possible, interact with other people outdoors. If the setting must be indoors, practise physical distancing and consider wearing a mask. Wearing a mask outside when you cannot maintain physical distancing also reduces your risk.

High-risk groups

Are you in a high-risk group or do you live with a person who is in a high-risk group?

High-risk groups include:

  • Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people who are 12 years of age or older (this means they have not received 2 doses of mRNA vaccine greater than 2 weeks prior to exposure)
  • Residents or staff of a congregate setting:
    • Long-term care and residential care homes
    • Correction centres
    • Shelters and transition homes
    • Mines
  • Patients in acute-care settings
  • Front-line health care workers with direct patient care (for example, family physicians, nurses, dentists) and first responders
  • People who are 50 years of age and older
  • People who are pregnant
  • People who have 1 or more risk factors for severe disease:
    • Obesity (BMI >30 kg/m2)
    • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
    • Chronic respiratory disease
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease
    • Immunocompromised or receiving immunosuppressive therapy
    • Intellectual or developmental disabilities

If you answered yes to the question above, you should consider:

  • limiting your interactions to a small number of people;
  • avoiding close interactions with others:
  • maintaining physical distance;
  • wearing a mask; and
  • washing your hands frequently.

Safe 6 plus 1

To reduce your risk remember to practise the Safe 6 plus 1.

COVID-19 risk assessment



Low risk

Use caution

Moderate risk


High risk

Vaccination status

Vaccinations are up to date for everyone in the group.

Some people are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Everyone is unvaccinated or you are not sure what each person's vaccination status is.


Gathering with people who are part of your household or close social group.

Gathering with people outside of your household or social group.

Going to large events or gatherings where there are large crowds.


Maintaining physical distancing at all times.

Having close contact with people.

Having close contact with people in crowds or with people outside of your social circle.


Having interactions with other people that are 15 minutes or less.

Having interactions with other people that are 15 minutes or more.

Having prolonged interactions with people.



Indoors with mask wearing.

Indoors and outdoors with no mask wearing.


  • Indoor gatherings with a small circle of friends or family.
  • Visiting or doing group activities outdoors while physically distanced.



  • Hugging others, eating and drinking with others, exercising in groups.
  • Parties and events where you have prolonged interaction with people outside of your household.
  • Large indoor gatherings where participants are wearing masks.


  • Visiting busy places with lots of people or for long periods of time such as attending a concert, conference or workshop.
  • Attending large gatherings, especially indoors.
  • Kissing or sharing food and drinks.