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Management of close contacts

Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 2)

What’s changed from 28 April 2021

  • Queensland-based, Australian Defence Force or international air crew who are identified as a close contact are allowed to leave Queensland before completing their quarantine, if they meet all of the requirements.

Overview

If you have been told you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days from the day you last had contact with that person unless you are directed otherwise by a public health officer or an exception applies. You must also quarantine for 14 days if you are told by another State, Territory or safe travel zone country authority that you are a casual contact of someone with COVID-19.

Quarantine at home

Once you have been told you are a close contact, you must:

  • immediately travel by private transport, taxi or by transport arranged by a government authority directly to your home or suitable accommodation to quarantine
  • provide the address of where you will quarantine and your contact details (phone number, email address and date of birth) to a public health officer - contact Queensland Health by calling 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
  • only travel by private transport, taxi, ambulance, emergency services vehicle or transport arranged by a government authority if allowed to leave quarantine.

Quarantine in government arranged accommodation

If you have been directed to quarantine in government arranged accommodation, you must:

  • immediately travel by private transport or by transport arranged by a government authority directly to your government arranged accommodation
  • only travel by ambulance, an emergency services vehicle or transport arranged by a government authority if allowed to leave quarantine.

Quarantine requirements

You must not leave quarantine except:

  • to get a COVID-19 test (if permitted by an emergency officer)
  • to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • in an emergency
  • as allowed by an emergency officer.

You must not allow anyone to enter where you are quarantining, unless they:

  • usually live there or are quarantining with you
  • are required to enter in an emergency
  • are allowed to enter by an emergency officer.

You must wear a face mask at all times (including when leaving quarantine) unless it is not practicable for safety reasons. Anyone transporting a close contact must wear a face mask at all times.

Testing

While in quarantine, if you refuse a COVID-19 test you must stay in quarantine for an additional 14 days from the end of your quarantine period.

Air crew

Queensland-based, Australian Defence Force or international air crew who are identified as a close contact are allowed to leave Queensland before completing their quarantine 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.

For full details, read the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 2).

Questions and Answers about this direction

Questions about quarantine

What is quarantine?

Quarantine is when people who are well and may 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 for 14 days and not leaving. The quarantine period is 14 days from when you may have been in contact with the person.

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:

People who are already in Queensland will also be directed to quarantine if they have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

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

What is a quarantine direction?

A quarantine direction is a legal notice issued under the Public Health Act 2005 to a person who is directed to quarantine. 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.

What's the difference between quarantine and isolation?

While both will limit your movements, quarantine is what people are required to do in case they have come in contact with a confirmed case.

Isolation is the term used when asking people who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 to stay in their home or in hospital until they are no longer infectious.

If you are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, you will be asked to self-isolate unless you are so sick that you need treatment in a hospital.

Who is a close contact?

#closecontact

A close contact is someone who has:

  • had face-to-face contact for any amount of time or shared a closed space for at least 1 hour with a confirmed case during their infectious period.
  • been to a venue or location where the risk of transmission is considered high based on public health assessment.
  • been identified by public health authorities to be at high risk for developing COVID-19 as they have or may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, for example in a school or other institutional setting.
  • been advised they will be provided with a quarantine direction by an emergency officer – by text, email or phone call.
  • been confirmed a close contact or casual contact by an interstate government authority.

Questions about quarantine — close contacts

Will I be charged for quarantine if I am a close contact?

Anyone who is already in Queensland and is identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, will be directed to quarantine either at home or in government arranged accommodation. Close contacts directed to quarantine in a government arranged hotel will not have to pay the fee.

How long do I have to quarantine if I am a close contact?

Anyone who is identified as a close contact will have to quarantine for 14 days from when they are directed. For example, if you are informed you are a close contact on 1 May (day 0) you must quarantine until the end of 15 May (day 15).

What if I am told I am a close contact?

Home quarantine

If you are told you are a close contact and are allowed to quarantine at home you must immediately travel by the most direct route possible by 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 until you receive further instructions from Queensland Health or an emergency officer.

Government arranged accommodation

If you are told you are a close contact and must quarantine in government arranged accommodation, you must immediately travel by the most direct route possible by private transport or transport arranged by a government authority to the government arranged accommodation, unless otherwise directed by an emergency officer.

When can I leave quarantine if I am a close contact?

Your quarantine period will end:

  • at the time stated on your quarantine direction or as stated by an emergency officer, or
  • if your quarantine direction is revoked, or
  • if 14 days have passed since you had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Questions about home quarantine

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

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
    • 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?

You should:

  • stay in your own room
  • use a separate bathroom if possible, or clean the bathroom each time you use it
  • stay at least 1.5 metres away from others
  • avoid common areas
  • wear a mask when moving through shared spaces in the house
  • wear a mask when in the same room as others
  • avoid preparing food for other people in the household
  • avoid sharing household items
  • clean the house regularly, especially things people touch often like door handles
  • maintain good hygiene practices like washing hands regularly, avoiding touching your face (or others’ faces) and covering coughs and sneezes
  • wash shared sheets often, using soap or detergent.

Everyone in the household should:

  • practice good hand and respiratory hygiene
  • practice social distancing
  • avoid sharing household items
  • monitor their health for any COVID-19 symptoms.

How can I get food and medication?

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.
  • Contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 for help.

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
  • are required to enter in an emergency
  • are given permission by an emergency officer.

What if I refuse to be tested?

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 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?

Home care workers and other providers of essential services are exempt from restrictions. These visits should continue as normal, while practicing good hygiene and physical distancing.

Do I have to have a test while completing quarantine at home?

If you are directed to quarantine at home, you will be emailed a laboratory form and will be asked to attend a test centre on day 10-12 of your mandatory quarantine period.

If you do not get tested when asked to do so, your quarantine period will be extended.

Please wear a mask when you attend the clinic for testing. When you arrive at the clinic, tell the healthcare professionals that you have been identified as a close contact of a person with COVID-19, are in quarantine and are attending for routine day 10-12 testing.

Even if you test negative on your routine day 10-12 testing you must stay in quarantine for the full 14 days until the date specified on your quarantine direction. This is because you could still develop COVID-19 towards the end of the quarantine period.

How can I travel for testing?

You are allowed to leave your home to attend a fever or respiratory clinic for testing if permitted under a direction give 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.

If you are unable to organise travel in a private vehicle, you can use a taxi or ride share service with the above-mentioned precautions. A taxi van or a taxi with a protective shield is preferred, if this is not available, you can travel by taxi or rideshare while sitting in the back seat on the passenger side.

What happens if I develop symptoms during quarantine?

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 possible, call hotel reception and tell them an ambulance is coming.

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

Call 13 HEALTH 13 43 25 84 to speak to someone about your health.

What happens at the end of my quarantine?

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 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?

You must wear a face mask when:

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

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.

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Questions and Requests for exemptions

If you are seeking clarification on a Direction or have any questions, please call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

You can apply for an exemption to a Direction online.