Quarantine for casual contacts

If you are a casual contact you must get tested for COVID-19 and will be required to quarantine for a period of time. You will not need to stay in quarantine for 14 days as your risk of exposure is lower than a close contact. The length of time that you are required to stay in quarantine depends on the timing and results of your COVID-19 test(s). The last day of potential exposure to COVID-19 counts as day zero. Please see more information about this below.

After you leave quarantine you must remain vigilant for symptoms for 14 days following your last exposure.

If you develop any symptoms you must immediately isolate and get tested for COVID-19.

You must remain in isolation until your symptoms resolve and you return a negative COVID-19 test result.

When to get tested for COVID-19

The number of tests you need, depends on  how many days ago you were at the exposure location.
The day you were at the exposure location counts as day zero.

If you were at the casual contact exposure location less than 4 days ago, you will need two tests.

  • You need to get a test as soon as you find out you are a casual contact.
  • You will need to get another test on day 5 after you were at the casual contact exposure location.
  • You need to remain in quarantine until you receive a negative test result from the 2nd COVID-19 test.

If you were at the casual contact location 4 or more days ago, you only need to get one test

  • You should get tested as soon as possible.
  • You will need to remain in quarantine until you receive a negative test result.

There is a difference in the testing times for casual contacts. This is because you may return a negative test result in the first few days after exposure, even if you have COVID-19.

  • Get tested again for COVID-19 if you experience any symptoms, no matter how mild.

How to get to a testing centre

Please travel via private transport to a testing centre.

You must go straight to the testing centre and straight back to your quarantine location. You must wear a mask at all times.

If you do not have access to private transport, please call ACT Health for advice.

ACT Health will arrange testing for you if you are symptomatic in quarantine.

We will provide you with a direct contact number at the start of your quarantine period.

Other people in the household

If you are able to, you should try to separate from other members of your household who are not in quarantine.

Appropriate separation means sleeping in a separate bedroom, preferably with your own bathroom. You should not spend time in the same room as the other people in your house.

For casual contacts, the people you live with do not need to quarantine if you cannot maintain appropriate separation.

Further assistance for people in quarantine or isolation

If you have questions or need help while in quarantine or isolation at home, contact the COVID-19 Helpline on (02) 6207 7244 between 8 am and 8 pm daily.

For more contact options, see our contact us page.

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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: September 13 2021