Self-quarantine — coronavirus (COVID-19)
All Australians should stay home unless:
- shopping for essentials - food and necessary supplies;
- medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements;
- exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements;
- work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely.
Read more about home confinement.
You must self-quarantine for 14 days if you are feeling well and:
- you have been overseas
- you have travelled to Queensland, unless the travel is essential, including for work or medical care
- you have been in close contact with someone who already has COVID-19.
Self-quarantine at home also applies for:
- Australians over 70 years of age;
- Australians over 65 years of age who have existing health conditions or comorbidities;
- Indigenous Australians over the age of 50 who have existing health conditions or comorbidities.
These groups should limit contact with others as much as possible.
While you’re self-quarantining, if you start to feel unwell and develop any symptoms at all, but especially a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or a respiratory illness, you should seek immediate medical attention. Call ahead to your GP and tell them your travel history so they can prepare for your visit.
For more information, visit the Australian Government website.
What does self-quarantine mean?
Self-quarantine means staying in your home, hotel room or provided accommodation, and not leaving for the period you are required to quarantine. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home.
Returning from overseas travel
If you have been overseas in the last 14 days and are feeling unwell, call your doctor immediately.
All travellers from overseas must self-quarantine for 14 days from the day they arrived in Australia. Anyone returning from overseas must self-quarantine in the city of their arrival in a designated facility, for example a hotel.
If your final destination is in another city, or state or territory you will be required to complete quarantine in the city you arrived before returning home.
Accommodation will be provided for the quarantine period.
For more information, visit the Australian Government website.
Does this mean my family or other people I live with need to self-quarantine?
The rest of your household does not need to self-quarantine if you stay away from others in your home. They are only required to self-quarantine if they meet one of the criteria for self-quarantine outlined above.
As much as possible, you should:
- stay in a room away from others
- sleep in a separate bedroom
- use a separate bathroom
Also, don't allow visitors.
Practice good hygiene and maintain a minimum of 1.5 metres distance.
Vulnerable people, like those over the age of 60 with chronic disease, should stay somewhere else.
See more information about self-quarantine from the Australian Government.
If you have no other means of getting food or essential items
People who have no other means of support can call the Community Recovery Hotline for assistance. The hotline has been activated by the Queensland Government to assist people who have been advised to quarantine at home by a medical professional, Queensland Health or through government direction and have no other mechanisms for support.
Community Recovery will work with partner organisations to arrange non-contact delivery of essential food and medication to people in quarantine with no other means of support. The Community Recovery Hotline can be contacted on 1800 173 349. For more information visit https://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies/queensland-disasters/novel-coronavirus-covid-19
Queenslanders who require health advice or information while in quarantine or self-isolation should continue to call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit the Queensland Health website. Staff at 13 HEALTH can connect people through to a local public health unit and other health support services.
What happens when I end my 14 days of self-quarantine?
If you have self-quarantined for 14 days without any symptoms, you are free to go about your usual activities and return to work, school, childcare, TAFE and university.
If you require a medical certificate, you will need to see a GP.
You should seek medical attention immediately if you develop symptoms while in self-quarantine.
What happens to those who do not comply with self-quarantine orders?
The health and wellbeing of Queenslanders is our top priority, and we know Queenslanders are always supportive of measures that protect the community.
Queensland Health is issuing notices to people who have travelled to at-risk areas, or who have been in contact with a confirmed case, that requests them to voluntarily quarantine themselves.
If a person is suspected to have breached the notice they had voluntarily agreed to, we'll initially work closely with the person to ensure they not only understand their obligations, but also the importance and seriousness of self-quarantine under the current global circumstances.
There are additional compliance measures available to Queensland Health under the Public Health Act 2005, and any further failure to comply may be subject to enforced quarantine and receiving fines of up to $13,345 and other penalties.
Keeping spirits up while in self-quarantine
Being under quarantine can be frightening, particularly for young children. Suggestions include:
- Talk to the other members of the family about the infection. Understanding coronavirus (COVID-19) will reduce anxiety.
- Reassure young children using age-appropriate language.
- Keep up a normal daily routine as much as possible.
- Think about how you have coped with difficult situations in the past and reassure yourself that you will cope with this situation too. Remember that quarantine won’t last for long.
- Keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media.
- Exercise regularly. Options could include exercise DVDs, dancing, floor exercises, yoga, walking around the backyard or using home exercise equipment. Exercise is a proven treatment for stress and depression.
Reducing boredom while in self-quarantine
Being confined to home for an extended period can cause boredom, stress and conflict. Suggestions include:
- Arrange with your employer to work from home, if possible.
- Ask your child’s school to supply assignments, work sheets and homework by post or email.
- Don’t rely too heavily on the television and technology. Treat quarantine as an opportunity to do some of those things you never usually have time for, such as board games, craft, drawing and reading.