After having COVID-19


Ending isolation

You can leave isolation after 7 full days if you have no more symptoms or only a mild, dry cough.

If you still have symptoms after 7 days, stay home until your symptoms are gone, or seek medical care if you are not sure.

You don’t need a negative test to end isolation. This is because people who get COVID-19 can continue to test positive for some time after they have recovered, even though they no longer have COVID-19 and are no longer infectious.

If others in your household tested positive while you were in isolation, you can still leave isolation after 7 days, but they must continue to isolate.


For the next 7 days after ending isolation

You can go to work or school or return to your normal activities.

You don’t need a negative test result to go back to work or study. There is no need to show a negative test to your employer or educational institution.

When you leave home, you must wear a face mask at all times, including indoors or when you are outdoors and you can’t remain physically distanced from others.

While children under 12 years of age don’t have to wear a face mask, they are encouraged to where it is safe to do so. Face masks, including surgical masks, are not considered safe for children under two years of age.

Do not visit these vulnerable or high-risk settings unless you work there, live there, or are getting medical care:
  • an aged care facility
  • a disability care setting
  • a correctional facility like a prison
  • a healthcare facility like a GP or a hospital.

If you are allowed to visit an aged care facility or a hospital for an end of life visit, contact them beforehand.


In the 12 weeks after ending isolation

You are unlikely to get COVID-19 again in the 12 weeks after completing isolation. You are considered a “cleared case” for 12 weeks after your isolation ends.

During this time, if you get symptoms, you do not need to get tested but you should stay at home until you feel better. This is important to help you to recover and prevent the spread of any other viruses in the community. You do not need testing unless advised to do so by your medical practitioner

If you are immunocompromised and get COVID-19 symptoms in the 12 weeks after ending isolation, it is important you seek medical advice, as COVID19 reinfection may be more likely.


Get your next vaccination and look after your health

Even if you’ve had COVID-19, you should get vaccinated. You are far less likely to get really sick should you get COVID-19 again. After you have recovered, you should wait three months to have your first, second or booster doses of COVID-19 vaccination.

Getting vaccinated for influenza is strongly recommended every year because having COVID-19 and the flu at the same time can make you really sick.

If you have missed some medical or health appointments while you were in isolation, now is a good time to call your GP and arrange an appointment to have a check-up or get back on track with caring for your health.


More than 12 weeks after you recover

If you have COVID-19 symptoms again more than 12 weeks after your recover, stay home and get tested.

If you get a positive result, complete 7 days of isolation. If you have a negative result, stay home until you no longer have symptoms.

If you have been told you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, follow the guidelines for close contacts.