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People in isolation must follow this advice regarding when they can be released from isolation.

Travellers requiring isolation

Please see Passengers leaving hotels who have completed mandatory quarantine for more information, including day 16 follow-up testing recommendations.

Travellers with exemptions

People who have been granted an exemption from a designated quarantine facility (hotel) to isolate at home (or alternative accommodation) must do so in accordance with relevant isolation advice. You must:

  • have a COVID-19 test on arrival (day 0) and again on day 12
  • only travel by private car to get to your home, or point of onward travel
  • if travelling by aircraft, board only the flight booked with appropriate physical distancing, wear a mask, physically distance as much as possible in the airport and in the air and practice good hand hygiene.
  • not travel if you are symptomatic
  • if travelling to another state, have clearance to travel to that state.

People travelling to other states or territories are subject to isolation requirements and advice of that State or Territory upon arrival. Exemptions to travel interstate are rare.

Close contacts of people infected with COVID-19

If you have been identitied as a close contact, you can return to daily activities if you have:

  • completed the 14-day isolation period
  • have a negative initial COVID-19 test result and
  • have another negative COVID-19 test result at day 12, and
  • have not shown any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 during this time.

All close contacts should get tested as soon as possible after learning they are a close contact of someone infected with COVID-19.

Close contacts need to have a test again on day 12 (since your last contact with an infected person) of their isolation period. Ensure you tell the testing facility that you are a close contact. They must continue to self-isolate until their isolation period is completed and a negative test result is recieved.

If unsure contact your Public Health Unit for advice (1300 066 055).

People suspected to have COVID-19 (suspected cases)

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and have been tested, you must self-isolate until your doctor or your pathology service advises you of your test result.

If the test is negative, you do not need to remain in isolation unless you are:

  • within the 14-day isolation period after recent travel
  • a close contact of a person and within the 14-day isolation period after your last contact with that person.

In those cases, you need to remain isolated until the 14-day isolation period is complete.

Please note, people with respiratory symptoms who have a negative COVID-19 test should remain at home and apply good hand and respiratory hygiene until symptoms have resolved.

If the test is positive, you will become a confirmed case and will need to remain in isolation. Your doctor and the local public health unit will give you advice to follow.

People with COVID-19 (confirmed cases)

Confirmed cases will be released from isolation by their clinical team.

Additional information

Considerations for people with existing respiratory illness

Some people may have a pre-existing illness with chronic respiratory signs or symptoms, such as chronic cough. In this case, the doctor who has been treating you should assess whether the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 have resolved.


People in home isolation must not use public transport.

Once you have completed your isolation period you can use public transport.

Hygiene and physical distancing

Everyone should continue to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene and physical distancing to reduce the spread of all contagious diseases:

  • regularly and thoroughly wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • avoid touching your face, especially your eyes and mouth
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • keep at least 1.5 metres (2 arms’ lengths) from other people.

For more information

Current as at: Thursday 11 March 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW