How to isolate - coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you get COVID-19, you will need to isolate yourself away from other people in your household or accommodation. This is to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to them.

Isolate means to stay away from people that don't have COVID-19. Follow the guidance outlined here to safely isolate while you have COVID-19.

Stay at home

You must not leave your home or accommodation during your isolation period.

You can only leave your home for emergency situations like:

  • going to a hospital for urgent medical care
  • going to a birthing suite to support someone who is giving birth (the hospital needs to approve you being there)
  • visiting a patient or resident at a vulnerable facility for the purposes of an end-of-life visit (the operator of the facility needs to approve you being there)
  • escaping harm or risk, including sexual or domestic and family violence (DFV) or accessing support from a DFV service
  • in an emergency or disaster, such as a fire or flood.

If you are leaving isolation for these very limited reasons, you must:

  • advise emergency personnel you are a diagnosed person in isolation
  • wear a mask
  • only travel by private transport, ambulance or endorsed transport provider or transport arranged by a government authority.

How to isolate

Stay away from other people in your home or accommodation as much as possible to reduce their exposure to COVID-19. This may include:

  • keeping 1.5 metres away from them and avoiding close contact, including touching, kissing, hugging and other intimate contact
  • sleeping in a separate room where possible
  • using a separate bathroom where possible
  • avoiding shared areas where possible
  • wearing a mask when you must use shared areas.

Do not allow anyone to visit your home or accommodation, unless it's for:

  • emergency care
  • medical care
  • other essential care.

These types of care can include home care workers and nurses. You must tell any person that comes to your home accommodation that you have COVID-19 and are in isolation before they arrive - or, in an emergency, before they enter the premises - so they can prepare themselves to look after you.

If you live with an elderly person or someone with a compromised immune system (immunocompromised), you or they may need to stay elsewhere. If you or they are not able to stay elsewhere, stay away from them as much as possible and wear a mask in any shared areas. They are at greater risk of being more unwell if they get COVID-19.

If you are not at your home (e.g. you are holidaying in Queensland) when you start isolation, you can:

  • return and complete your isolation at home if you live within safe driving distance
  • complete your isolation in your accommodation if you can stay away from other people (if you are not within safe driving distance to return home)
  • relocate to an alternative suitable place to isolate within a safe driving distance (if you cannot stay away from other people in your accommodation).

Reduce the chance of spread to people you live with

You need to take steps to protect others from getting COVID-19. The people you live with, or that you (e.g. nurse, support worker), should also follow some of these steps to protect themselves.

Practice good hygiene

Always cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, preferably with a tissue or your sleeve when you don’t have a tissue. Throw out any used tissues straight away in a rubbish bin.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds regularly, and especially after you cough, sneeze, blow your nose or take off gloves and masks. You can use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands are not visibly dirty. Clean your hands after putting on your mask, before going into any shared household areas.

Do not share household items

Do not share cups, glasses, plates, utensils, towels or bedding with others in your home. These items should not be used by others until they are cleaned thoroughly with detergent and water or in a dishwasher or washing machine.

Wear a mask

If you have COVID-19, you should avoid being in the same room with others, but if you do need to be in the same room, always wear a face mask covering your nose and mouth.

Keep your house open

Open doors and windows as much as you can to have good airflow, particularly in shared areas.


Clean frequently touched surfaces every day with a normal household cleaning product. This includes tabletops, doorknobs, taps, sinks, phones, keyboards, remote controls, light switches and bedside tables. Pay particular attention to the kitchen, laundry and bathroom.

Monitor your symptoms

Read about managing your symptoms at home and what to do if you get sicker.

Support while in isolation

You will be in isolation for a minimum of 5 full days. Read about getting the things you need like food and medication.

If you need any other support while you’re in isolation, read our guide on where to get help.

Please call 134 COVID (13 42 68) if you have any questions about isolation.

Ending isolation

Read about how to end your isolation period.