Minimising risk in face to face data collection: post Covid-19 lockdown advice

18th Jan 21

This advice is for Members considering face to face projects in parts of Australia that are out of lock-down. Members are advised not to conduct any face to face activities in areas that are currently in lockdown as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak.



The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve in Australia and overseas. This advice is for Members who wish to consider the use of face to face data collection for projects.

Note that Members are advised not to conduct any face to face activities in areas that are currently in lockdown as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak. Areas in lockdown may change quickly, so do check the relevant websites (in Appendix) before making a decision on any project.

The primary consideration is that Members must always follow official government guidance on Covid-19, both from the Commonwealth and the state or territory in which they live and/or plan to conduct research.

The advice given here supplements official guidance on COVID-19 with some research considerations. It is based on our current understanding of government guidance, which is subject to continuous development. It remains the responsibility of Members to keep up to date with government guidance, which may differ by state and territory and over time.

As there is still a high level of concern about social contact, owing to recent and potential further outbreaks, the Research Society asks Members to carefully consider their responsibilities towards the general public, people working with them and their clients. It is vital to retain public confidence in our sector’s activities and to not contravene any government guidance and advice on social contact and distancing.

Risk minimisation is essential when considering face to face data collection at this time.

Members must, of course, adhere to the Research Society Code of Professional Behaviour at all times, with particular reference at this time to avoiding harm of any kind to participants. This may include the risk to physical health from contracting COVID-19 or to mental health from anxiety at being asked to come into contact with others or being asked about certain topics.

Members should also obtain independent advice about their insurance coverage and their legal situation during the pandemic.

Our thanks to our strategic partner MRS in the UK whose guidance on this topic assisted in the development of this advice.

Health Related Advice

Websites providing useful information and advice on requirements on working safely during the Covid-19 restrictions.

Federal Health Dept

Coronavirus Australia app

COVIDsafe app








General Working Safely with COVID-19 Advice

Work Safe Australia

Australian Institute of Food Safety: