Ending isolation - coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have COVID-19 and no longer have symptoms, most people can end isolation 5 full days from taking the test that gave you the positive COVID-19 result.

You do not need to have a negative COVID-19 test to leave isolation.

Requirements for ending isolation

On day 5 of your isolation, you must not have any of the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • cough that is bad or getting worse.

If you do have any of these symptoms on day 5 of your isolation, you must remain in isolation until those symptoms have gone away.

Example of calculating the end of isolation

A person takes a COVID-19 test at 3.00pm on Monday afternoon (Day 0) and receives a positive result.

The person must complete 5 full days (5 full 24-hour periods) of isolation. If the person does not have COVID-19 symptoms listed above at the time, their isolation ends at 3.00pm on Saturday. If the person has completed 5 full days of isolation but still has COVID-19 symptoms, they must stay in isolation until the symptoms resolve.

Excluded ongoing symptoms

After being sick with COVID-19, some people still have a:

  • mild dry cough
  • mild fatigue
  • loss of taste of smell.

You do not need to stay in isolation if you still have these symptoms.

If you develop any new symptoms within 28 days of being released from isolation, you should stay home until you feel better. You do not need to be re-tested for COVID-19.

If you are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease and develop new symptoms within the 28 days, you should contact your doctor for advice as you may need to be tested for COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses such as influenza.

If you are a close contact within 28 days of release from isolation, you do not need to follow the guidelines for close contacts.

If you are treated by a Hospital and Health Service

If you are being treated by a Queensland Hospital and Health Service, a nurse or a medical practitioner from the service will tell you when your isolation can end.

If household members get COVID-19

If others in your household tested positive while you were in isolation, as long as you meet all other criteria to be released from isolation, you can still leave isolation after 5 days, but the newly diagnosed person must complete their isolation period.

If someone in your household tests positive and it has been less than 28 days since you were released from isolation, you are not required to isolate as a close contact unless you develop any new symptoms of COVID-19.

After ending your isolation

When you leave isolation, you must wear a face mask for the next 5 days when:

  • indoors
  • outdoors where you cannot stay physically distanced from others.

Find out what you are required to do in the 5 days to several weeks after you have COVID-19.