21 April 2022

The ACT Government will ease quarantine requirements for household contacts of people who have COVID-19 from 11.59pm on Tuesday 26 April.

Household contacts will not have to quarantine if they have no COVID-19 symptoms but will be required to minimise their movement in the community and comply with risk mitigation requirements including mask wearing indoors, COVID testing requirements and not entering high-risk settings.

A household contact must comply with these risk mitigation requirements for a period of seven days from the last time someone in the household tested positive for COVID-19 (the date of the collection of the test is regarded as Day 0).

  • Advise ACT Health that they are a household contact by completing an COVID-19 online declaration form.
  • Wear a face mask in all indoor spaces when outside of the home, if aged 12 years and over.
  • Work or study from home, where it is practical to do so, and where it suits the employer and employee.
  • Notify their employer and/or educational facility that they are a household contact. This will assist employers and educational facilities to determine whether the household contact can work or study from home or can attend the facility following an assessment of risks in accordance with work health and safety obligations.
  • If it is not practical to work or study from home, and there is mutual agreement to attend work or study, individuals must undertake COVID-19 testing and return a negative result in the 24 hours prior to returning to work or study and then every 48 hours if ongoing attendance is required.
  • If needing to attend a gathering that is unavoidable they must have returned a negative COVID‑19 test result in the 24 hours prior to attending.
  • Do not enter a high-risk setting such as aged care or hospital unless they reside there or need care (noting that high-risk settings can consider granting exemptions from this requirement).

Household contacts will also be expected to practise COVID Smart behaviours and avoid as far as possible attending crowded places, spending prolonged periods in indoor spaces with others and interacting with people who are at higher risk of severe illness.

In addition, from 11.59pm on Friday 29 April 2022, all international travellers arriving in Australia will be encouraged to get a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of their arrival. Quarantine requirements for unvaccinated travellers will be removed.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the changes will align with those made in NSW and Victoria wherever possible, while accounting for local conditions in the ACT.

“The ACT Government continues to review COVID-19 requirements to ensure that restrictions remain proportionate,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“These changes to quarantine requirements will provide relief to many workplaces and businesses that have been under pressure due to workforce shortages.

“The ACT Government recognises that we need to balance the additional risks of COVID transmission if household contacts are not quarantining with the impact of quarantine on workplaces, individuals and families.”

Household contacts who are symptomatic or cannot comply with risk mitigation requirements will still need to comply with quarantine requirements.

“The risk of COVID-19 is still real and people who are household contacts should still do everything they can to minimise their exposure to others,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“Household contacts should consider carefully whether they need to return to the workplace or attend locations where they will be in contact with other people.

“Where employees and employers have agreed on a return to workplaces, the appropriate work health and safety protocols need to be in place.

“A household contact must not leave their home if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 – they should undergo COVID-19 testing and isolate until a negative result is received. Even if their test is negative, they must stay at home until their symptoms resolve.”

There are currently no changes for COVID-19 positive cases, with the 7 day isolation requirement remaining. A person who has recovered from COVID-19 does not need to isolate, quarantine or test for COVID-19 for 12 weeks from their date of clearance.

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