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.

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.

This is because most people who get COVID-19 will 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 you leave your house:

  • wear a face mask, including whenever you are indoors, or when you’re outdoors but can’t socially distance
  • wash your hands regularly.

A child under 12 years old is not required to wear a face mask for 7 days after ending their isolation, however a school may require a student to wear one as part of their policies for health and safety reasons.

Don’t visit these settings unless for a permitted limited purpose and you have advised them you are a diagnosed person in isolation in advance:

  • an aged care facility
  • a disability care setting
  • a correctional facility like a prison
  • a healthcare facility like a GP or a hospital.

You can go to these places if you work there or you are getting care.


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 are recommended to 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.

If you are immunocompromised, you must quarantine if you become a close contact, even if you had COVID-19 within the previous 12 weeks.


Get your next vaccination and look after your health

Even if you’ve had COVID-19, you should get vaccinated.

After you have recovered, you can get vaccinated – regardless of whether it’s your first, second or booster dose.

If you are vaccinated, you are far less likely to get severe disease should you get COVID-19 again.

Do not attend a vaccination appointment if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.

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

If you get a positive result, complete 7 days of isolation.

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