When can people be released from self-isolating at home or hotel?

Confirmed cases or suspected cases

People confirmed as having coronavirus with a mild illness who are home isolating can end self-isolation if:

  • at least 10 days have passed since the onset of their symptoms and
  • all symptoms of their acute illness have been resolved for the previous 72 hours.

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

Close contacts

Close contacts are able to return to daily activities if they have completed the 14-day isolation period and they have not shown any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 during this time.

Medical clearance from a health care provider is not required for release from quarantine or for other purposes such as returning to work, school or university.

Travellers

People are able to return to daily activities and cease isolation if they have completed the 14-day isolation period and they have not shown any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 during this time.

The majority of people who have been isolated due to travel will not go on to develop symptoms.

If the individual does not have any symptoms and you are completely well there is no testing that can be done to test for the virus. It is not possible to issue a ‘medical clearance certificate’.

Exempted travellers

For those in hotel quarantine who have been provided with an exemption to isolate at home must do so in accordance with relevant isolation advice. They must:

  • not travel by public transport to get to their home
  • have clear rows in front and behind if travelling by airplane
  • if travelling to another state, have clearance to travel to that state

When can people be released from hospital isolation?

Those hospitalised with severe illness - but are clinically ready to be discharged from hospital - and have not had 2 consecutive negative coronavirus tests at least 24 hours apart, will need to be discharged to home self-isolation.

They can only end home self-isolation if:

  • at least 10 days have passed since their hospital discharge and
  • all symptoms of the acute illness have been resolved for the previous 72 hours.

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.

Transport

Those in home isolation must not use public transport.

Once individuals have completed their isolation period they can use public transport

Health care workers and those with specimens at clinical recovery

Healthcare workers, workers in aged-care facilities and confirmed cases who had specimens taken at the time of clinical recovery can be released from isolation if:

  • they have been without fever for the previous 48 hours and
  • all symptoms of the acute illness have been resolved for the previous 24 hours and
  • at least 7 days must have passed since the onset of their acute illness and
  • they have had at least 2 negative coronavirus tests, collected 24 hours apart, after their acute illness has resolved. (This will be reviewed as the pandemic evolves in Australia).

Hand hygiene and distancing

Everyone should continue to continue hand hygiene and social distancing to reduce the spread of all contagious diseases:

  • regularly and thoroughly wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
  • cover mouth with a tissue when coughing, or cough into elbow
  • keep at least 1.5 metres (2 arms’ lengths) from other people.
Current as at: Sunday 12 April 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW