To reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the community all travellers who return from overseas or those who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days must enter into a dedicated quarantine facility, such as designated hotels, for at least 14 full days.  ​

Last updated: 19 August 2020

The Public Health Orders

Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation and Maritime Quarantine) Amendment Order (No 2)

Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020

How long do you need to be in quarantine?

If you have travelled from overseas or been in Victoria in the last 14 days you must enter into quarantine for 14 days, with limited exceptions for transiting passengers. You will be housed in designated accommodation for the 14-day quarantine period. This is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Quarantine applies to all overseas travellers or those who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days, even if you are currently feeling well.

COVID-19 requires an extraordinary response and the quarantine period is necessary for the safety and health of all NSW citizens, including the family and friends of those in self-isolation.

People in quarantine who get tested for COVID-19 and the result is negative still need to remain in quarantine until the end of the 14 day period.

For information on leaving hotel quarantine, refer to Release from isolation.

Getting to a hotel when you return

All returned overseas travellers and those who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days who arrive by plane undergo a COVID-19 symptom and temperature check at the airport.

If you have any symptoms such as fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat or shortness of breath 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 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.

Can you choose your own hotel?

All hotel quarantine for returned travellers and those who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days is pre-arranged and you are not required to make a booking. It is not possible to advise in advance which hotel you will stay at. This is determined on the day of your arrival.

Will I have to pay for the accommodation?

The NSW Government will charge international travellers for their hotel quarantine accommodation from 12:01am Saturday, 18 July. If you purchased your flights before 11:59pm 12 July AEST you will be excluded from quarantine fees. You must supply documentary evidence and you will still be required to quarantine in government arranged accommodation. The NSW Government will invoice you at the end of your stay.

For more information or questions regarding quarantine fees:

  • visit Revenue NSW - Quarantine fees
  • call Revenue NSW 1300 433 476 (8:30am to 5:00pm Monday – Friday) or Service NSW on 13 77 88 (available 24/7)

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

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

Under the Public Health Order by the Minister for Health and Medical Research, all people returning from overseas or those who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days must quarantine in a designated quarantine facility, such as a hotel. Exemptions are rare due to the high risk of not quarantining. They are only considered where there are strong medical, health or compassionate grounds, or the person is transiting out of NSW to an international destination other than a Pacific Island country.

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

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 this cost will be incurred by you.

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, 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 are 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 then be assessed and tested for COVID-19. If you test negative you still need to remain in quarantine until the full 14 day isolation period finishes and you have received a medical clearance.

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

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

Not following these rules is also 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.

More information and support

Significant efforts are being undertaken to ensure that while you are quarantined, you have access to all essential items and services.

There are difficulties with being placed in quarantine accommodation, but we ask you to understand that this is a necessary action to protect all people of NSW, including those who would be at grave risk should they​​​ contract COVID-19.

For further information on air and maritime quarantine requirements and exemptions see air and maritime quarantine - frequently asked questions.

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

Health and wellbeing support

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

  • 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 amid the coronavirus 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 you should phone 000.


In NSW smoking and using e-cigarettes in hotel quarantine is 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) and For interpreter services Quitline Advisors: Arabic (1300 7848 03), Chinese (1300 7848 36) and Vietnamese (1300 7848 65).

Other support

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

For those who require special items that cannot be sourced through the hotel concierge, friends, family, or through online delivery services, you can contact Service NSW COVID-19 number on 13 77 88.

Chaplaincy services are also available through referral from Red Cross.

Translating and interpreting services are available on 13 14 50.

NSW Ombudsman

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

To make a complaint, 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.

Please note that as of 18 March 2020, the NSW Ombudsman is now operating remotely. Members of the public and stakeholders should be aware that delays in response times may be experienced. Read the latest information on NSW Ombudsman office closure and accessing services.

The NSW Ombudsman cannot handle complaints about the NSW Police Force. You can contact the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission. For Commonwealth agencies you can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Page Updated: Wednesday 19 August 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW