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Check in technology to support home quarantine

Use of Technology to Support Home Quarantine Direction

Overview

The Queensland Government has introduced the use of a new system that allows government authorities to ensure those people who are completing home quarantine are doing it safely and correctly. This ensures we are keeping the Queensland community safe from COVID-19 and assisting emergency health officers with compliance checks.

It is also in place to make sure people in home quarantine have access to emotional and practical support. If you don’t have a smart phone, you will still be contacted at various points of time to ensure you are complying with the requirements.

Home Quarantine Check In:

An explanation of key Home Quarantine Check In features.

Duration 00:01:31

Using the service

If you are required to use the home quarantine check in system, you will be sent a daily SMS and it will be sent at a random time during the day. You must respond by following the link in the SMS and completing the web form to ensure you are complying. We will ask you questions about:

  • your welfare and health (to help determine whether you need additional support)
  • whether you have left your home
  • if you have had any visitors to your home.

To be marked as compliant each day, you must:

  • respond to the web form link within 10 minutes of receiving the SMS
  • be at the address you are supposed to be completing quarantine (the system uses geolocation services to see where you are).

If you do not complete the web form and do not have a reasonable excuse as to why, an emergency health officer may visit you at your home to make sure you are following the quarantine requirements. If you are found to have broken the rules, you may be taken to government arranged hotel quarantine for the remainder of your quarantine period, at your own expense.

For the geolocation system to work, you must enable location services on your phone.

If you're being directed to quarantine at home - for example, if you're a close contact - you will be told by the emergency officer who gives you your quarantine direction about whether you must use this technology system.

Other communication

Throughout your home quarantine period, you will also receive regular contact from the Queensland Government by phone and text message.

For more information see

Questions and answers about this Direction

Questions about the Home Quarantine Check In service

Who does the Home Quarantine Check In service apply to?

  • Anyone who has been issued with a Quarantine Direction Notice and been directed by an Emergency Officer to use the Home Quarantine Check In service. This may include people who have been identified as a close contact and have been given a notice to quarantine at home.
  • Overseas travellers who are eligible to quarantine at home and use the Home Quarantine Check In service

What if I don’t have a smart phone, can I still complete my quarantine at home?

If you are directed to quarantine at home because you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 you can still do so if you don’t have a smart phone.

Instead of using the Home Quarantine Check In service you will be contacted by phone at various points in time during your quarantine period to check on your health and wellbeing and your compliance with the quarantine direction.

What if I am under the age of 18? Can children use the Home Quarantine Check In service?

Anyone aged 18 years and under will not be required to use the Home Quarantine Check-In service. Instead, a parent or guardian who is in home quarantine with the child will be contacted to check in on the minor’s health and wellbeing and compliance with their quarantine direction.

What information do I need to provide?

You must respond to compliance and wellbeing checks by clicking on the web link in the SMS message including the registration of your location within 10 minutes of receiving the SMS.

You will need to answer questions about:

  • Whether you have left your premises
  • Whether you have had any visitors to your premises
  • Your current location (geolocation)

You will also be asked questions about your health and your welfare

Will my movements be tracked at all times?

Your response to the compliance and wellbeing checks via the web link in the SMS message will be checked at a point in time (when you complete the SMS web link)

You cannot leave your home except:

  • to get a COVID-19 test
  • in an emergency
  • for safety reasons (to avoid immediate injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm)
  • as otherwise required or allowed under a direction given to you by an emergency officer.

What happens if I don’t comply with my quarantine direction?

A person who fails to respond to any compliance check via SMS web link message, or is outside an acceptable location range of their residence without reasonable excuse, will be referred for a compliance visit by an emergency health officer. If this happens you may be taken to government arranged accommodation to finish your quarantine.  You will have to pay the cost of this accommodation.

The person who is not compliant has committed an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the direction and may be penalised.

You may also be given an on-the-spot fine or a court-imposed penalty.

What happens if I don’t answer the SMS web link within the 10 minutes?

If you do not complete the SMS web link within the 10-minute threshold period, a call to your mobile number will be made by an officer of the Queensland Government. If you do not answer, this will prompt a second, final call. No answer to this call will be referred for a compliance visit by an emergency officer. If this happens you may be taken to government arranged accommodation to finish your quarantine. You will have to pay the cost of this accommodation.

The person who is not compliant has committed an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the direction and may be penalised.

You may also be given an on-the-spot fine or a court-imposed penalty.

What happens if I am outside of the quarantine location vicinity?

If you are not within the location range of your residence without a reasonable excuse you will be referred for a compliance visit by an emergency officer. If this happens you may be taken to government arranged accommodation to finish your quarantine. You will have to pay the cost of this accommodation.

The person who is not compliant has committed an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the direction and may be penalised.

You may also be given an on-the-spot fine or a court-imposed penalty.

What is home quarantine?

Home quarantine is when people have to stay in their home away from other people to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Quarantine means staying in your home or at another address for 14 days or until the date that is specified on your quarantine direction notice (if you have been issued one) and avoiding contact with other people.

Read more about

How will my privacy be maintained?

The information you provide as part of the Home Quarantine Check In will be used by Queensland Health, Hospital and Health Services and other government agencies to ensure you are following your quarantine direction.

For information on how your privacy will maintained, what happens to the information you provide, or to access or correct your personal information, see our privacy statement on your quarantine direction.

Questions about quarantine

What is quarantine?

Quarantine is when people who are well but have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 have to stay away from others to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Quarantine means staying in your home or government-arranged accommodation or at another quarantine address for 14 days. You must avoid contact with other people, including receiving visitors and not leave. The quarantine period is 14 days from when you may have been in contact with the person with COVID-19. This is because you may be in the incubation period (the time between getting the virus and showing symptoms).

Who has to quarantine?

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, anyone arriving in Queensland must quarantine if, in the last 14 days, they:

  • have been identified as a close contact by other means
  • have been overseas in the last 14 days (excluding travel on a quarantine free flight from a safe travel zone country).

When someone is directed to quarantine, they may be issued with a quarantine direction under the Public Health Act 2005. This is a legal notice.

Who does not have to quarantine?

If you are entering Queensland directly from a safe travel zone country on a quarantine-free flight, you do not need to quarantine or complete a Queensland International Arrivals Registration if you meet all of these conditions:

  • you have been tested for COVID-19 in a clinical setting within 72 hours prior to the time you departed a safe travel zone country on a quarantine-free flight and your test returned a negative result
  • you are fully vaccinated unless you are under 12 years of age, or are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of a recognised medical contraindication.

If you cannot be vaccinated due to a recognised medical contraindication, you’ll need to provide a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner as evidence, stating the medical contraindication.

All passengers on a quarantine-free flight are still required to complete the Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before the time of departure.

Who can direct a person to go into quarantine?

Under the Public Health Act 2005:

  • the Chief Health Officer can release a Public Health Direction stating that specific groups of people need to go into quarantine
  • an emergency officer can direct a person to go into quarantine.

You can be directed to quarantine either verbally or in writing, including as a text message, email or letter.  When you get given a written quarantine direction, you must complete quarantine, even if you have not been told verbally by an emergency officer.

Even if you don’t receive a written quarantine direction but are requested to quarantine by an emergency officer (public health), either verbally or via SMS you are still required to quarantine.

What is a quarantine direction?

A quarantine direction is a legal notice issued under the Public Health Act 2005 that may be given to a person who is directed to quarantine. If the close contact is a minor, the quarantine direction will be issued to the parent, guardian or responsible adult of the minor. The quarantine direction includes:

  • person’s name, date of birth, contact details and the address they advised where they will be quarantining (i.e. residential address or alternative address)
  • date that they are required to quarantine until
  • if applicable, children in the person’s care who are to also comply with the quarantine direction
  • penalty for not complying with the quarantine direction
  • link to further quarantine information.

A secondary contact will be required to quarantine in accordance with a quarantine direction issued to the member of their household who is the identified close contact.

Which agencies may contact me during my quarantine?

While in quarantine, Queensland Health and the Queensland Government COVID team will call and SMS you, to check that you are adhering to your quarantine requirements and to check on your health and wellbeing. These calls may come from a private number, so we encourage you to answer it as soon as possible.

Be alert about COVID-19 themed hoax SMS and emails, for example, notifying people they are a close contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case. These messages usually include a link to a non-government website or may ask to provide personal information, including banking details. You will never be asked for your banking details by a Queensland Government agency via an SMS. If you are unsure whether an SMS or email you received is genuine, you can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to check.

Questions about quarantine — secondary contacts

Who is a secondary contact?

A secondary contact is someone who normally resides in the same home or accommodation as a person who has been informed that are a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case as specified in Schedule 1 of the Management of Secondary Contacts Direction.

Secondary contacts must follow the quarantine rules under the Management of Secondary Contacts Direction.

What is the difference between a casual contact, a secondary contact and a household contact?

A casual contact is anyone who was at the same location, at the same time as a COVID-19 confirmed case, but deemed as a low risk. Visit contact tracing (exposure sites) for the latest list of exposure sites in Queensland and the rest of Australia.

A secondary contact is anyone who lives in the same household as an identified close contact. They must also quarantine until the end of the quarantine direction notice, or until 14 days has passed since the close contact was around a positive case of COVID-19. If anyone in the house tests positive for COVID-19 during this period, then everyone in the house will be considered a close contact and the length of quarantine may be extended.

A household contact is the same as a secondary contact.

What is ‘critically essential work’? / How do I know if I qualify as a critically essential worker?

Critically essential worker is a person who has been approved by an operator of a hospital (chief executive) or relevant Queensland Government Agency as a person that has extremely specialist skills that cannot reasonably be performed by another person who is not quarantining.

If you are a secondary contact, you can only leave quarantine to perform critically essential work if:

  • you are fully vaccinated
  • you can relocate to separate accommodation to the close contact you normally live with i.e. second private residence, or a hotel
  • the close contact you live with has a negative COVID-19 test at least 48 hours after you have moved into the separate accommodation
  • the operator of a hospital (chief executive) or a relevant Queensland Government Agency approves you as a critically essential worker
  • you are asymptomatic (have no COVID-19 symptoms)
  • you will be able to wear a P2/N95 mask at all times when performing the critically essential work.

If you have been approved as a critically essential worker and have been identified as a secondary contact, the operator of a hospital (chief executive) or a relevant Queensland Government Agency must inform the local public health unit and seek their endorsement for you to return to work.

What if I am told I am a secondary contact?

As soon as you become aware that you are a secondary contact you must immediately travel by the most direct route possible using private transport or transport arranged by a government authority to your home, accommodation or other suitable premises to quarantine. You must stay at your premises from the time the close contact in your household had contact with the positive COVID-19 case or until you receive further instructions from Queensland Health or an emergency officer.

You can be told you are a secondary contact by being contacted by a public health officer, by the person you live with telling you that they are a close contact, or another means such as and SMS message or a letter from a school.

Can a household member who has been away, re-join the household while people are quarantining?

It is not recommended people to come home while the household is in quarantine, for their own health and safety. If there is no other accommodation option for that household member, they are able to re-join the household as long as they quarantine for the balance of the quarantine period.

If a family member lives across two households e.g. shared custody arrangement, are family members able to move between households?

If both households are quarantining for the same period and there is a safe travel plan (no stops or contact with other people), this could be negotiated with an emergency officer from your local Public Health Unit.

If only one household is quarantining, then there should be no movement of people between households, as this increases the risk to the person not in quarantine. However, the appropriate adult or guardian in the quarantined household may seek advice from an emergency officer at the local Public Health Unit.

One of my household members is a vulnerable person, due to a medical condition, can they move out while the household completes quarantine?

This will need to be discussed and negotiated with your local Public Health Unit who can provide advice. Otherwise, you can call 134COVID.

Questions about home quarantine

What do I need to do if I have been directed to quarantine at home?

#home-quarantine-what-to-do

If you have been directed to quarantine at home, you must stay at the address stated on your quarantine direction for 14 days or the date specified on the direction.

You cannot:

  • leave your residence except:
    • in an emergency
    • to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm – for example escaping risk of harm related to domestic and family violence or accessing support from a domestic and family violence support service
    • to get essential medical care
    • to get a COVID-19 test
    • as required or permitted under a direction given by an emergency officer
  • go into public places including your work or the shops. You will need to let your employer know that you cannot attend your workplace until you are told it is safe to do so
  • let anyone into your nominated premises unless they:
    • usually live with you and are also quarantining as secondary contacts
    • are required to enter in an emergency.

given permission by an emergency officer. You can:

  • go into your garden or courtyard if you live in a house
  • go onto your balcony if you live in an apartment or are staying in a hotel.

If you are in quarantine and need help getting food or other essentials you should call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

What do I do if I live with other people if I’m quarantining at home?

Under the Management of Secondary Contacts Direction, anyone who lives in the same household as an identified close contact must also quarantine until the end of the quarantine direction notice, or until 14 days has passed since the identified close contact was with a positive case of COVID-19.

Can I have people visit me in home quarantine?

You cannot let anyone enter the premises where you are quarantining unless they:

  • usually live with you and are also quarantining as secondary contacts
  • are required to enter in an emergency
  • are given permission by an emergency officer.

What if I refuse to be tested if I’m quarantining at home?

By getting tested before leaving quarantine you are helping us stop the spread of COVID-19 and protecting Queenslanders from the virus. We respect your right to refuse, however, you and the people you live with will be required to quarantine for a further 14 days until there is greater certainty that you do not have the virus.

Can home care and essential services like nurses still visit me at home?

Close contacts in quarantine should discuss their in-home care needs with public health officers. When visits occur, it is essential to wear a mask, practise good hand and respiratory hygiene and maintain physical distancing.

For more detailed information, please read the specific COVID-19 advice for in-home community workers on the Queensland Health website.

Do I have to get tested?

Yes. You must be tested immediately.

If you are fully vaccinated, you must also be tested on Day 5.

If you are unvaccinated, you must also be tested on Day 12.

You also need to get tested if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.

How can I travel for testing if I’m quarantining at home?

#travel-to-get-tested-in-quarantine

You are allowed to leave your home to attend a fever or respiratory clinic for testing if permitted under a direction given to you by an emergency officer.

You should travel alone, use personal transport where possible, and go directly to the clinic and return home straight away without stopping anywhere else (not even to get petrol). If you are unable to drive yourself, see if a member of your household or a friend can take you.

When travelling with other people, you must:

  • wear a mask
  • sit in the back seat
  • maintain physical distancing as much as possible
  • handle your own belongings
  • use hand sanitiser.

The friend or family member who is driving you must also wear a face mask.

What happens if I develop symptoms during quarantine if I’m quarantining at home?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms that are life threatening or urgent:

Call triple zero (000). Tell the operator that you are in quarantine.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms that are not urgent:

Call 134 COVID (134 268) to speak to someone about your health.

What happens at the end of my quarantine if I’m quarantining at home?

If you have completed your 14 days of quarantine without developing symptoms and have been tested for COVID-19 when requested to do so by a public health emergency officer, you and your household will be able to leave quarantine.

You must continue to practice physical distancing and good hand and respiratory hygiene.

If you become unwell and have any cold or flu like symptoms return home straight away and contact your doctor.

When do I have to wear a face mask if I’m quarantining at home?

You must wear a face mask when:

  • told to do so by an emergency officer
  • leaving quarantine for a permitted purpose.

How can I walk my dog if I am in quarantine?

Unfortunately, if you are in home quarantine, you are unable to take your pet for a walk or any exercise outside your home. However, you can still keep them mentally stimulated by:

  • giving them multiple smaller meals throughout the day rather than one or two larger meals
  • if you are permitted, you can play fetch or tug games if you have a backyard
  • teaching your pet a new obedience command or trick
  • providing a treat dispenser toy to keep them stimulated.

It is best if your pet can remain with you while you undertake quarantine or isolate.

If you feel your pet cannot stay in quarantine with you, we recommend having a plan in place to make other arrangements, such as arranging for them to be cared for at a boarding kennel, or be cared for by family, friends. Relocating the pet should be the last option.

To prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 to the community, it is not recommended to ask friends, family or neighbours to walk your dog while you’re in quarantine

What do I do with my pet if I test positive and have to go to hospital?

We recommend having an emergency plan in place for the care of your pet, just in case you become unwell or are hospitalised.

This could involve:

  • having an emergency kit ready with leads, collars, dry food or medicines that your pet needs
  • ensure your emergency kit has been sanitised and placed outside for someone to collect
  • in the first instance, it is recommended your pet go into a boarding kennel or similar. If this isn’t possible, they should stay with family, friends or a neighbour while you’re away
  • make sure you have all emergency contacts written down for the kennel or person that may care for your pet
  • also tell someone else what your emergency plan is so they can make arrangements for you, if needed.

If you are hospitalised or must quarantine in accommodation that is not your usual residence, and there is no one in the household to care for your pets, other arrangements need to be made for the care of your pets. This may include arranging a boarding kennel or cattery, or a second option could be to send them to the home of friends, family or a neighbour for the duration of your quarantine period if it is possible to do so in a COVID-safe way.

What happens if my pet becomes sick while I am in quarantine?

If you are in quarantine and your pet becomes unwell, it is important to remember not to break quarantine to take your pet to the vet. By doing this, you could put your vet, their nurses and other pet owners at risk of infection.

It is always a good idea to ring your vet first, let them know you’re in home quarantine and discuss the best way to work with you to ensure your pet will receive the care they need, while they can keep themselves and their staff safe.

It’s best to ask for advice on how to care for your pet from home. If your pet needs to be seen, you should ask family, a friend or a neighbour to take your pet to the vet, or even see if your vet can deliver any medication.

Where can I find more information about secondary contacts?

You can find more information about secondary contacts at Management of Secondary Contacts.

Questions about quarantine in government arranged accommodation

What is quarantine in government arranged accommodation?

Read about what happens in quarantine in government arranged accommodation including Q&As.

Questions about air crew

Can air crew who are identified as a close contact leave Queensland before completing 14 days quarantine?

Yes, only if they:

  • have no COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • leave Queensland on a crew-only flight to travel overseas and all crew on board the flight wear a face mask; and
  • travel directly to embark the crew-only flight using private transport or transport arranged by an airline operator.

Questions about support, health and wellbeing

How can I get food and medication if I’m quarantining at home?

You can get food and medication while in quarantine by doing the following:

  • Ask friends or family members you don’t live with to get food and medication to leave at your door.
  • If you need a prescription filled arrange this with your usual pharmacist or GP. They can deliver it to your house or you can let your friend or family member know where to collect the medication. Read more about getting medicines and accessing health services .
  • Arrange a food delivery service. Have all food left outside your house. Do not let any delivery person into your nominated premises.

What support is available to me while I’m in quarantine?

Find the right service for your coronavirus (COVID-19) enquiry.

We ask that you please be patient, as most services are currently experiencing a high volume of calls.