15 December 2021

NSW Health is urging residents to take active measures to stay safe and healthy over the summer break by ensuring medical prescriptions are filled and the 24-hour Healthdirect helpline is kept on hand to reduce stress and inconvenience if family members do become ill while travelling.

Senior Medical Advisor for NSW Health, Dr Jan Fizzell, said managing existing health conditions was more important than ever in the current pandemic climate. She said now was not the time for complacency.

"As the states reopen in time for Christmas and the holiday season, we are urging NSW residents to remain vigilant in managing their personal health and that of their family," Dr Fizzell said.

"While being vaccinated against COVID-19 will likely lessen the symptoms of the disease and potentially protect you from hospital admission, it does not always completely prevent you from contracting and spreading the virus. Take precautions, wear masks when indoors and where social distancing is not possible and keep up good hand hygiene.

"It remains vital that anyone who has any symptoms or is a close or casual contact of a person with COVID-19 isolates and is tested immediately. If you are identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case while on holidays and you need to return home to isolate, it is important to travel safely and directly according to NSW Health advice."

Dr Fizzell said that includes planning the most direct route home if you are driving, knowing where to get tested and getting tested before you leave, as well as ensuring you have enough fuel, food and water for the journey home.

"If you feel unwell, get tested and isolate until you provide a negative PCR result. Most importantly, save the Healthdirect Australia helpline, 1800 022 222, into your phones, so you can seek help immediately and in the case of a health emergency, call Triple Zero (000).

"If you are not yet vaccinated, now is the time to book in. And if you are due for your booster shot, do not delay in getting your shot once you are able to. If you are getting together with people who are not yet vaccinated, consider having everyone do a Rapid Antigen Test on the day of the event."

Healthdirect Australia provides 24-hour medical advice as well as access to afterhours GP services where required. For those that require urgent medical attention, please present to your closest Emergency Department.

Before travelling it's important to check the rules, restrictions and testing requirements for travel to interstate and overseas jurisdictions.

Continue to use the Service NSW check in wherever available and keep a detailed log of any rest stops made, remembering to avoid stopping in busy areas. Stay up to date with rule changes and updates by visiting NSW Government website: International travel to and from NSW