Quarantine and isolation information

What does it mean to be in isolation or quarantine?

Isolation or quarantine means that you must stay at home (or other suitable quarantine premise).

You cannot go to work, school, or public areas, such as shops, cafes, or restaurants.

You cannot go into any communal areas, such as corridors or lifts, if you are in an apartment building.

If you have a private garden, courtyard or balcony, you may go outside into these areas.

You must tell people not to visit you while you are in quarantine.

There may be COVID-19 testing requirements during your quarantine period.

For more information, see information for people exposed to COVID-19.

In the ACT, everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for at least 7 days (where the day of your test is day zero, you will be cleared from isolation at 11.59pm on day 7).

For more information, see information for people who test positive to COVID-19.

You can only leave your quarantine premises in an emergency (including to obtain urgent medical attention) or to get a COVID-19 test.

If you have questions or need help while in quarantine or isolation at home, contact ACT Health on (02) 5124 6500 between 8am and 6pm daily.

What is a suitable isolation or quarantine premise?

The following premises are suitable:

  • a private residence
  • standalone AirBnB rental accommodation
  • other short term rental accommodation where the person or family quarantining is/are the only occupants, with own kitchen and bathroom facilities. Examples could include:
    • a residential address or property (primary residence or secondary residence, like a, granny flat
    • a private residence of a relative or friend
    • a rental property including short stay accommodation (for example, booking an entire property, cabin, or self-contained apartment, with fully self-contained facilities including kitchen and bathroom and no communal areas)

If you're isolating or quarantining in accommodation with shared entry spaces, you should adhere to the following guidance when entering:

  • use hand sanitiser prior to entering the complex.
  • avoid touching any high touch surfaces, such as door handles or hand railings.
  • take the stairs rather than a lift to access the quarantine premises. If stairs are not an option, do not use a lift at the same time as others.
  • wear a facemask until inside the quarantine premises and the entry door is closed.
  • arrange for any surfaces that have been touched to be cleaned with disinfectant.
  • do not enter any common areas during the quarantine period such as shared hallways and foyers, except if necessary when leaving your quarantine premises to obtain a COVID-19 test.
  • private balconies, courtyards or gardens, can be used, if these can be accessed directly from the quarantine premises. Do not enter any communal gardens or other outdoor public spaces.
  • if speaking to people on adjoining balconies, ensure that 1.5 metres distance is maintained at all times, and a mask is worn.

The following are not suitable premises

  • commercial accommodation providers that are not standalone properties (for example, hotel rooms with shared facilities) and do not have access to fresh air (courtyard or balcony) and kitchen and laundry facilities.
  • accommodation with shared facilities in non-private settings (for example, caravan parks, youth hostels, boarding houses, group homes, single rooms in AirBnB properties)

If you do not have a suitable premises for quarantine, you may be requested to quarantine in a managed quarantine facility. Fees may apply.

Isolation and quarantine advice

Cleaning

Have your own cleaning supplies to clean your room and bathroom, if you are separating from others in your household.

You will need a combined detergent/disinfectant or a detergent product and household grade bleach.

You can find a list of cleaning products active against COVID-19 on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website.

You will also need some disposable cleaning cloths or paper towels.

Regularly clean high touch surfaces with detergent and water followed by a disinfectant or diluted bleach solution or use a combination detergent/disinfectant product.

Always clean and dry surfaces before applying bleach or disinfectant.

High touch surfaces include:

  • tabletops
  • door handles
  • doorknobs
  • bathroom fixtures
  • toilets
  • light switches
  • phones
  • remote controls
  • keyboards
  • tablets
  • bedside tables.

Use disposable kitchen towel to clean surfaces that may have blood, body fluids, secretions or excretions on them.

Follow with a diluted bleach solution.

You can make a bleach-based disinfectant (1000 ppm) by adding 25 millilitres of domestic bleach to 4 cups of cold water.

Mix this disinfectant solution each day and dispose of what you do not use at the end of each day.

If you use bleach as a disinfectant, apply to surface, leave for 10 minutes and then rinse with clean water.

Do not use the disinfectant solution in a spray bottle.

If you need someone else to clean your room while you are in quarantine or isolation, contact ACT Health for advice.

Laundry

If you are separating from other people in your household, you should avoid doing laundry until you leave quarantine or isolation.

If you must do laundry while you are separating from other people in your household, you should leave your laundry outside your room in a garbage bag.

The person doing your laundry should then:

  • collect the bag while wearing gloves and a mask
  • hold the bag away from their clothes
  • empty the bag straight into the washing machine
  • turn the washing machine on (following washing advice above)
  • dispose of the bag into the general waste
  • remove gloves, perform hand hygiene, remove mask and then perform hand hygiene again
  • clean any surfaces you touched while wearing gloves (for example, the outside of the washing machine and waste bin)
  • do hand hygiene again.

Meals

If you are separating from other members of your household, you should:

  • have your meal delivered to your door
  • collect your meal after the person delivering the meal has left the area.

You can use disposable or reusable crockery and cutlery.

Dishes

If you are separating from other members of your household, you should:

  • leave your reusable crockery and cutlery outside your door for somebody in your household to collect and clean.

The household member collecting your crockery and cutlery should:

  • wear gloves and a mask
  • clean it thoroughly with detergent and hot water or in the dishwasher on a hot cycle
  • performed hand hygiene immediately after removing gloves and mask
  • clean any surfaces touched (for example, the front of the dishwasher or the taps)
  • do hand hygiene again.

If your entire household is in quarantine you should:

  • clean crockery and cutlery thoroughly with detergent and hot water or in the dishwasher on a hot cycle.

Waste

If you are separating from other members of your household you should:

  • not leave your room to dispose of your waste
  • put any waste from your room outside your door for collection in a tied off leak-proof garbage bag.

The person collecting your waste should:

  • wear gloves and a mask
  • remove gloves immediately after disposing of waste in the general waste
  • do hand hygiene, remove their mask and do hand hygiene again
  • clean any surfaces touched while wearing gloves (e.g. the lid of the bin)
  • do hand hygiene again.

If your entire household is in quarantine you should place waste in a general waste bag in the general bin.

Exemptions to leave whilst isolating with COVID-19

See Exemptions to leave whilst isolating with COVID-19 for more information.

What do I do if I have recovered but there is still someone else in my house with COVID-19?

If there is still someone in your household who has COVID-19, you can leave the house, however please:

  • separate from other people with COVID-19 in the household, as far as possible (for example sleep in a different bedroom if you are able to)
  • continue to practise COVID Smart behaviours, like good hand hygiene, mask wearing and physical distancing.

More information on the recovering from COVID-19 page.

Related information

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: June 29 2022