Social distancing, or physical distancing, is a set of non-pharmaceutical interventions or measures taken to prevent the spread of a contagious disease by maintaining a physical distance between people and reducing the number of times people come into close contact with each other. It involves keeping a distance of six feet (two meters) from others and avoiding gathering together in large groups.
By reducing the probability that a given uninfected person will come into physical contact with an infected person, the disease transmission can be suppressed, resulting in fewer deaths. The measures are combined with good respiratory hygiene and hand washing. During the 2019–2020 coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested the reference to “physical” as an alternative to “social”, in keeping with the notion that it is a physical distance which prevents transmission; people can remain socially connected via technology.