National Cabinet announced on 31 August that the isolation period for COVID-19 positive cases and close contacts with symptoms will reduce from 7 days to 5 complete days – providing they are free of symptoms by the time they leave isolation. These changes will come into effect from Friday 9 September.
For people who still have symptoms after five days, they must continue to isolate.
People who work at or visit high-risk settings, such as hospitals, healthcare services, residential disability care and residential aged care facilities, and those providing care in the home, are not permitted to enter these facilities for at least 7 days following a positive test. Isolation requirements for close contacts will reduce from 7 to 5 complete days. Close contacts without symptoms may leave isolation if they:
- record a daily negative rapid antigen test (RAT);
- wear a mask at all times outside the home;
- avoid high-risk settings, including hospitals, health care services, residential disability and aged care facilities;
- notify their employer/educational facility of their close contact status
- work from home (where possible);
- avoid non-essential gatherings and contact with people at risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- notify their employer/educational facility of their close contact status.
The updated isolation requirements enable a faster return to work for people who have tested positive to COVID-19 and close contacts, while continuing to protect people in our community at greater risk of serious illness.