Recovering from COVID-19

Clearance from isolation once you've recovered from COVID-19

Your clearance letter means you can leave isolation from midnight of the date on the letter.

You do not need a test to leave isolation.

A person who has had COVID-19 is at most risk of passing the infection on to others during the first 7 days of their illness.

However, you may still be infectious for a short time after this, so it is important that you continue to take the following measures to protect those around you for several more days.

You should not return to work, and should minimise contact with other people, until your symptoms are either gone or you are feeling much better.

Additional precautions until your symptoms have gone or you are feeling much better:

  • do not enter high-risk settings, including hospitals, residential aged care facilities, correctional and detention facilities
    • this does not apply if you need to access urgent medical care, or are a resident in one of these settings
  • wear a face mask whenever in an indoor public place.
  • avoid mass gatherings and large-scale events, even outdoor events.
  • avoid using public transport. If essential, you should wear a face mask.
  • practise good hand and respiratory hygiene at all times.

Minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19.

Advice for recovered cases who are significantly immunosuppressed for the 7 days following their clearance from isolation date

People who are significantly immunosuppressed are more likely to be infectious after day 7 and may still be able to spread the virus.

Please follow these measures until day 14 following your positive test result (that is, for an additional 7 days after you are cleared from isolation) to further reduce any remaining risk of spreading the virus.

If you are not sure if this applies to you, please discuss with your treating doctor.

  • do not enter high-risk settings, including hospitals, residential aged care facilities, correctional and detention facilities
    • this does not apply if you need to access urgent medical care, or are a resident in one of these settings.
    • if you need to access medical care, please inform the treating facility that you have recently been released from isolation and are immunosuppressed.
  • wear a face mask whenever in an indoor public place.
  • avoid mass gatherings and large-scale events, even outdoor events.
  • avoid using public transport. If essential, you should wear a face mask.
  • practise good hand and respiratory hygiene at all times.

Minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19.

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)
  • observe hand hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing as per public health advice

What happens if I am identified as a contact after I have recovered?

You are required to follow ACT Health requirements for quarantine and testing if you are identified as a household or high risk (close) or moderate risk (casual) contact, unless it is within 4 weeks of your clearance from isolation.

This is because of the possible risk of reinfection with COVID-19.

When do I need to get a COVID-19 test as a recovered case?

You should get tested if you are identified as a household or high risk (close) or moderate risk (casual) contact of someone infected with COVID-19, unless it is within 4 weeks of your clearance from isolation.

If you develop new symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and isolate until your symptoms resolve AND you receive a negative test.

You DO NOT need a test to be released from isolation.

Do I still need to follow the public health guidance?

Once you leave isolation, you still need to follow the current public health recommendations for the state or territory you are in, including hand and respiratory hygiene, and physical distancing, rules related to indoor and outdoor gatherings and for mask wearing.

I need to attend a medical appointment, am I able to do this face to face?

Yes, you have been cleared from isolation and can attend appointments as needed.

You should follow public health recommendations, like washing your hands, wear a mask if you cannot physically distance or if it is required, and maintain social distancing.

If you are attending an appointment in a high risk setting and it is within 3 days of clearance from isolation (7 days if immunosuppressed), please inform the facility prior to attendance.

Non-urgent care may need to be rescheduled.

What If I need to attend a high-risk setting? What if I work at one?

Unless you need urgent care, please avoid high risk settings (hospitals, residential aged care facilities, correctional and detention facilities) for 3 days after your clearance from isolation (7 days if you are significantly immunosuppressed).

If you work at one of these settings, please see the advice for high risk settings.

What do I do about COVID-19 vaccination?

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19, including getting a booster dose, is strongly recommended to protect you from getting COVID-19 again.

There is no need to delay vaccination once you have fully recovered from COVID-19.

You can receive your vaccination once you have recovered from your acute illness or choose to defer for up to 4 months.

Please talk to your GP or regular health professional about the best timing for you based on:

  • your medical conditions
  • workplace requirements
  • new variants of COVID-19, and
  • other factors.

I don’t feel completely better from my COVID-19 infection, what should I do?

Most people who have COVID-19 recover completely within a few weeks.

This is not the same for everyone.

Some may have symptoms that last much longer.

Symptoms that are more likely to last beyond a few weeks include:

  • feeling tired (fatigue)
  • chest discomfort
  • cough.

Other symptoms can also continue beyond a few weeks.

These include problems with sense of smell or taste, headache, runny nose, joint or muscle pain, trouble sleeping or eating, sweating, and diarrhoea.

Your recovery will depend on your age, your overall health, and how severe your COVID-19 symptoms are.

If you are concerned about ongoing symptoms after being cleared from isolation from ACT Health, please talk to your GP or regular health professional.

Post COVID-19 medical information resources:

Further information

Please call ACT Health on 5124 5498 if you have any questions.

Household contacts can also call 5124 6500 for further information.

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: January 25 2022