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Home quarantine

Anyone who has had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 may be directed to quarantine in their home, an alternative quarantine address or in government arranged accommodation.

If you are directed to quarantine, you will be issued with a quarantine direction under the Public Health Act 2005. This is a legal notice.

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

If you are directed to stay at your home, you must stay at your residence to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You must not leave your residence unless it is to get essential medical care or supplies, to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm. You should not allow anyone into your place of quarantine unless they live there or need to enter to provide emergency or medical care.

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

Questions and Answers

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.

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.

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.

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 get essential medical care
    • to get essential medical supplies where alternative delivery arrangements are not possible
    • if you have an exemption to attend a facility for an end-of-life visit
  • 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 provide medical care
    • are entering for an emergency.

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 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 is likely to 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, but 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.

What happens if I develop symptoms during quarantine?

If you or any other member of your household develops any COVID-19 symptoms at any time during your quarantine period please attend your local fever or respiratory clinic to get tested as soon as possible. If you have other health concerns call your doctor or 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) and advise them you are in quarantine due to being a close contact of a person with COVID-19.  

If you are having serious symptoms or other serious health concerns, call 000 straight away. Symptoms include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or chest pressure or pain. Tell the ambulance staff that you are in quarantine as you have been identified as a close contact of a person with COVID-19.

If you test positive you will need to go into isolation. Anyone who has been in your household then becomes a close contact and must go into quarantine.

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.