Your guide to self-Isolation.
Who needs isolation?
If you have returned to Australia from overseas or have had close contact with a person who has COVID-19, special restrictions apply.
You must self-isolate if:
- You have COVID-19
- You have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
- You arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020
Staying at home or in a hotel
Before going home or to a hotel to start isolation, please use private transport (your own car) to reduce contact with others. If you need to use public transportation (like taxis, Ubers, trains, buses, and trams), please follow the precautions listed in the public transportation guide at
You must stay at home or in a hotel for the entire 14 days of isolation.
You can’t go to public places like workplaces, schools, nurseries, universities, or public events. Only people who normally live with you can live at home. Don't have visitors. If you are in a hotel, please avoid contact with other guests or staff. If you are in good health, you do not need to wear a mask at home.
You will need to rely on other people who are not isolating to buy food and other things for you.
If you must leave the house to see a doctor, wear a surgical mask. If you don’t have a mask, avoid coughing or sneezing on others.
Monitoring Your Symptoms
During isolation, be aware of your symptoms including; fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue/ tiredness or shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing. Other symptoms include; chills, body aches, runny nose and muscle pain.
What if I am sick?
If you experience symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness, or shortness of breath) within 14 days after returning to Australia or within 14 days after the last contact with a confirmed case, you should arrange for a medical visit for an emergency diagnosis.
Call your GP or hospital before your visit to inform them about your travel history or contact history with confirmed Coronavirus cases. Before the public health department informs you that it is safe to resume daily activities, you must stay isolated at home, in a hotel or medical facility.
How can I prevent spreading the Coronavirus?
Have good hand, sneezing and coughing hygiene habits. The best way to defend against most viruses is keeping away from others when you are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before and after eating or after going to the toilet.
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Cough into your elbow, or a tissue, then discard paper towels and wash your hands.
- Avoid contact with people (maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from others). • Think of ways to maintain social distance responsibly.
Can I go outside?
If you are isolating in your home, you can go into your garden or courtyard. If you live in an apartment or hotel, it is ok to go into the garden, but you should wear a surgical mask to lower the risk to others. Move quickly if you pass through a public area.
Advice for people living with you
If you are healthy, people living with you do not need to self-isolate unless they also meet one of the isolation criteria. If you develop symptoms and health authorities suspect you have COVID-19, those living with you must isolate.
What about Cleaning?
To minimise the spread of germs, regularly clean surfaces that are touched a lot including door handles, light switches, kitchen and bathroom areas. Use household disinfectants for cleaning.
Keeping your spirits up and managing boredom in isolation
It can be stressful being in isolation, here is some tips to help the time pass:
- Stay in touch with family and friends via phone, email or social media
- learn about COVID-19 and inform others
- Use age-appropriate language to comfort children
- Maintain normal daily activities as much as possible, like a healthy diet and exercise
- Work from home
- Ask your child's school to send homework by email or mail
- Do something to help relax and use this time to do things that you usually haven't had time to do
The National Coronavirus Helpline is 1800 020 080 is open all day, seven days a week. If you need translation or interpretation services, please call 131 450.
The telephone numbers of public health agencies in your state or territory can be found at
If you have any concerns about your health, please consult your doctor.
This content has been adapted from the NSW Government Department of Health Website;
This information can be found here: