If you arrive in NSW from overseas, you will need to quarantine. Quarantine reduces the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Quarantine is a mandatory legal requirement under the public health orders. NSW hotel quarantine facilities are managed by NSW Police.

Last updated: 02 July 2021
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The Public Health Orders

How long do you need to be in quarantine?

You will need to stay in hotel quarantine for a minimum of 14 full days. There are limited exceptions for transiting air or sea passengers.

A full day means a 24-hour period starting at 12am (midnight) and ending at 12am (midnight) on the following day.

The Chief Health Officer may release you after 14 full days if they are satisfied that you do not pose a risk of infecting another person with COVID-19.

COVID-19 testing requirements in quarantine

You will be tested for COVID-19 several times during your 14 day stay.

You will be tested on day 2, day 7 and day 12 of the quarantine period, as well as at any time you start to experience COVID-19 symptoms.

The Chief Health Officer may release you after 14 full days if all your test results are negative and you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, and they are satisfied that you do not pose a risk of infecting another person with COVID-19.

People who refuse to be tested or who test positive will be required to stay in quarantine for 24 days, or until clear of infection if they have tested positive.

If you are identified as a close contact of a person who tests positive to COVID-19, you will be required to remain in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days from when you were last in contact with that person. This may result in your quarantine period extending beyond 14 days.

If you test positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine

If you test positive for COVID-19 during your stay, you will be assessed by a medical team and transferred to a hospital or Special Health Accommodation quarantine facility managed by NSW Health.

Transferring you to a dedicated health facility means specialist staff can support your recovery and make sure you have the medical attention you need.

Getting tested after leaving quarantine

You must also get tested for COVID-19 two days after leaving hotel quarantine (day 16). This is an additional measure to help protect you and the community once you’ve left hotel quarantine. You do not have to isolate while waiting for the results of your day 16 test.

NSW Health will call or text you seven days after leaving quarantine to ask if you have any symptoms. If you have developed any symptoms since leaving quarantine, you will be asked to get tested for COVID-19.

Getting to a hotel on arrival

Travellers who arrive by air

Travellers who arrive by air are required to have a COVID-19 symptom and temperature check at the airport. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 you will be tested for COVID-19 at the airport and transferred to a hotel managed by NSW Health to await your results. Your checked luggage will be transferred separately to your quarantine accommodation.

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, you will collect your luggage and be transferred to a hotel or other designated quarantine facility.

Travellers who arrive by sea

Travellers who arrive by sea must be granted an exemption to disembark the vessel. If granted an exemption you will be required to:

  • enter a government quarantine facility, or
  • enter a medical facility for treatment if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or if you require medical treatment, or
  • go to the airport/another vessel in order to leave Australia.

The quarantine facility will be allocated by NSW Police, who will advise the shipping agent of the location.

The employer or shipping agent is responsible for arranging appropriate transport for you to travel to the approved destination and for providing you with a face mask that covers the nose and mouth. The face mask must be worn during transit.

For further information on appropriate travel ia avilable on our website.

Can I choose my hotel?

All hotel quarantine is pre-arranged for travellers. You do not need to make any bookings in advance.

It is not possible to advise travellers of the allocated hotel ahead of time as this is determined on the day of arrival, based on hotel capacities. All quarantine hotels are in Sydney.

Can I self-isolate at home instead of in a hotel?

Under the public health order, travellers who enter NSW having been in a country other than Australia or New Zealand in the last 14 days must quarantine in a designated quarantine facility. Exemptions are rarely given, and only considered where there are strong medical, health or compassionate grounds, or the person is transiting out of NSW to an international destination.

For more information and to apply for an exemption, visit Exemptions for air and maritime quarantine.

Do I have to pay for quarantine?

The NSW Government charges travellers for their hotel quarantine accommodation. You will be invoiced at the end of your stay.

For more information about quarantine fees:

For translation and interpreter services, please call 13 14 50 and ask the interpreter to phone 13 77 88.

Meals in hotel quarantine

Food will be provided for you at the quarantine facility. Any dietary requirements should be discussed when you arrive. You can also order takeaway meals once a day from outside the hotel. Should you choose to use additional food services you will have to pay for them.

Use of nebulisers and positive pressure breathing machines in quarantine

Nebulisers and positive pressure breathing machines such as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) are not allowed in NSW Police-managed quarantine facilities. If you use nebulisers or CPAP, please tell the health care staff when you arrive in NSW. Alternative arrangements will be made to support you during quarantine.

Smoking

Smoking and use of e-cigarettes in hotel quarantine are not permitted. You will not be able to smoke for the duration of your stay at the hotel. These laws protect people from harmful second-hand tobacco smoke. Further information is available at Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 and the Smoke-free Environment Regulation 2016.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) such as nicotine patches are available and can help with managing nicotine withdrawal. Being smoke free in quarantine may make you think about quitting smoking. There is help available. Call NSW Quitline (13 7848 or 13 QUIT) or visit www.icanquit.com.au. For interpreter services, please call Quitline Advisors: Arabic (1300 784 803), Chinese (1300 784 836) or Vietnamese (1300 784 865).

Monitor your symptoms

You should monitor yourself for any new symptoms while in quarantine. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat, shortness of breath, loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting and loss of appetite.

Unexplained chest pain and conjunctivitis have also been reported as symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop any of these symptoms while in quarantine you should contact the health care team at your hotel as soon as possible. The health care team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be contacted by phoning reception at your accommodation, or the Health and Wellbeing number on 1300 290 994.

You will be assessed and may be tested for COVID-19. If you test negative, you still need to remain at the facility until you have completed your quarantine period (a minimum of 14 full days), and you have received a medical clearance.

If you become severely unwell and it’s a medical emergency, please phone triple zero (000).

Wear a mask

All quarantine guests are required to wear a mask when:

  • arriving in NSW
  • moving through the hotel to check in and check out, and
  • opening the hotel room door for any reason.

Detailed directions about all quarantine infection control requirements and safety measures are provided to guests on arrival at the hotel.

Support in quarantine

We understand that many people find quarantine challenging. Significant efforts are made to ensure that people in quarantine have access to essential items, support, services and information.

The onsite team of nurses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support you if you have concerns about your physical or mental wellbeing or have any specific health needs.

Health and wellbeing

The health care team will call you each day to check on your health and wellbeing. If you require support while in quarantine, please let the team know.

The health care team is staffed with experienced doctors, nurses and mental health professionals who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be contacted by phoning reception at your accommodation, or the Health and Wellbeing number on 1300 290 994.

You can also talk to your general practitioner or contact one of these services for support:

  • Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14 A crisis support service that provides short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
  • Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Line: 1800 512 348 Provides ways to look after your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 Provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 A free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years.

If you become severely unwell and it’s a medical emergency, please phone 000 (triple zero).

Other support

You can contact hotel reception for personal care items such as toothpaste or sanitary items, to arrange acceptance of care packages from friends or family, or to arrange acceptance of ordered takeaway meals.

What happens if I don’t comply with the quarantine rules?

Not following the quarantine rules is a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties. For individuals, the maximum penalty is $11,000, 6 months in prison, or both, with a further $5,500 fine for each day the offence continues.

NSW Ombudsman

The NSW Ombudsman handles complaints about most NSW public agencies, like NSW Health and the Department of Communities and Justice, as well as NSW Government-funded community service providers.

To make a complaint, please use the NSW Ombudsman's web form or email the NSW Ombudsman. If you are unable to put your complaint in writing, for example due to disability, or you believe your complaint is urgent, you can call the NSW Ombudsman on 9286 1000 or 1800 451 524. You may need to leave a voicemail.

For complaints about NSW Police Force, can contact the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission. For Commonwealth agencies you can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Further information

For information about planning your trip, fees and payment, what to expect in quarantine, health and wellbeing resources, information for returning NSW residents, and information for flight crew, visit the NSW Government website.

Further information on air and maritime quarantine requirements and exemptions is available at air and maritime quarantine - frequently asked questions.

Further information about border restrictions can be found at NSW Government - Your guide to border restrictions.

Current as at: Friday 2 July 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW