Information for casual contacts

A casual contact is someone who has been at the same location at the same time as a positive case; however, they may have been there only briefly, or it may have been a location that carries a lower risk of transmission. A casual contact has a lower risk of developing COVID-19, compared with a close contact.

How do I know if I am a casual contact?

There are several ways you could find out that you are a casual contact.

These include:

  • being contacted directly by ACT Health (contact tracing team) by phone or text message
  • receiving a notification via your Check In CBR app
  • by checking the exposure locations list on the website.

Please note: When assessing an exposure location, ACT Health conducts a risk assessment to determine the date and time that the risk was present. You are not considered a causal contact if you have been to an exposure location outside of the times and dates listed on the website, and/or you have not been contacted directly by ACT Health.

What to do if you are a casual contact

All casual contacts should follow the advice below, regardless of vaccination status.

If you have been to any of the casual contact exposure locations at the dates and times listed, or if ACT Health have notified you directly that you are a casual contact, you must:

  • complete the ACT Contact Declaration Form
  • get tested for COVID-19 – as a casual contact you may need more than one test - please read the testing timeframes below.
  • casual contacts should follow the advice on the ACT COVID-19 website – you will not be contacted further by ACT Health unless you return a positive result.

Testing and quarantine requirements for Casual Contacts

For casual contacts you may need more than one test.

This test must be a PCR test. Rapid Antigen Tests are not suitable.

When counting days since exposure, you must include day zero. Day zero is the last day of your potential exposure to COVID-19, or the last day you visited an exposure location. If you attended an exposure location that has more than one exposure time or date, you should count the most recent date that you attended as day zero.

You need to get tested at the following times:

  • Initial Test:
    • This test should be done as soon as you become aware that you are a casual contact. You need to quarantine until you receive a negative result.
    • Once you receive a negative result from your initial test, no further quarantine is required regardless of when you were exposed.
    • If your initial test is done 5 or more days after your exposure date, you do not need another test.
  • Second Test:
    • You only need a second test if your initial test occurred less than 5 days after your exposure.
    • Your second test should be at day 6 or later, after your exposure.
    • You do not need to quarantine while waiting for this test result.

If you develop symptoms, no matter how mild, at any time between the above tests, please get tested immediately and quarantine while you wait for the result.

How to get to a testing centre

Please travel via private transport to a COVID-19 testing clinic where possible.

If you do not have access to private transport, as a casual contact you can use public transport, rideshare, or taxi to get to a testing centre.

Make sure you:

  • Use the Check in CBR app in a taxi or on public transport
  • Sit in the backseat of a taxi or rideshare
  • Wear a mask
  • Practise good respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
  • Maintain physical distance from all other people when possible, including transport staff, drivers and passengers
  • Use hand hygiene before and after travel

Other people in your household

As a casual contact, there is no requirement for other people in your household to quarantine, unless you test positive to COVID-19. Your household members do not need to get tested for COVID-19, unless they have also been identified as casual contacts, or they have any COVID-19 symptoms.

We recommend that you maintain appropriate separation from other people in your home, until you have received a negative test result from your initial test.

If any people in your household develop COVID-19 symptoms, they should get tested immediately.

Appropriate separation means you should:

  • stay and sleep in a separate bedroom
  • use a separate bathroom if available, or clean a shared bathroom after each use
  • do not spend time in the same room as the other people in your house
  • do not use shared household items including dishes, cups, towels, bedding or other items
  • avoid common areas of the household – if unavoidable, wear a mask when in common areas and clean the area with detergent and disinfectant after use.
acknowledgement icon
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: November 05 2021