Self-isolation and self-quarantine advice for COVID-19 (coronavirus)


Download this page as a fact sheet: Self-Isolation and Self-Quarantine Advice (PDF 250KB)

For information on testing requirements, visit the Testing for COVID-19 page.

For information on travel restrictions, visit the SA.GOV.AU Travel Restrictions page.

Who needs to be in self-quarantine or self-isolation?

Arriving from overseas

Arrivals into Australia are quarantined in their port of arrival in supervised accommodation for 14 days to ensure compliance. They are transferred directly from the airport. For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs COVID-19 page.

Arriving from Interstate

All people arriving to South Australia from interstate by road or via Adelaide airport should complete the cross border pre-approval form at least 14 days prior to arrival.

There are some border restrictions in place that require people from some states to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. This could be in either self-quarantine or supervised accommodation, depending on the situation.

Keep up-to-date with the latest information on South Australia’s border restrictions on the SA.GOV.AU Travel Restrictions page.

Some exemptions apply for essential travellers. See the Travel Restrictions page on covid-19.sa.gov.au for more information.

People waiting for their COVID-19 test result

After a person has been tested for COVID-19, they should stay in self-isolation until they receive a negative test result (in certain cases you may be required to remain in self-isolation or self-quarantine if directed to do so by SA Health or SA Police).

Close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case

People who have been advised by SA Health that they are a close contact or a casual contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case must stay in self-isolation until the date provided to them by the Communicable Disease Control Branch.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19

When a person receives a positive test result for COVID-19 (and doesn’t need to be in hospital), they must stay in self-isolation until they are cleared by SA Health to leave self-isolation.

How is this being monitored and enforced?

SA Police will be undertaking periodic checks on people in mandated self-quarantine or self-isolation to ensure they are complying.

How to self-isolate / self-quarantine

  • You must stay at a suitable place and not leave unless you need to seek urgent medical care.
  • You must not go to public places – this includes work, school, childcare, university, shopping centres, public parks, social or religious gatherings.
  • You must not go shopping or to restaurants – shop online or have family or friends deliver what you need to your door.
  • You must not have visitors at your home. Only people who usually live with you should be in the home – they must not sleep or be in the same room as you.
  • If you must leave home to seek urgent medical care, wear a surgical mask.

Where to self-isolate / self-quarantine

You must directly travel to your chosen self-quarantine place.

You must ensure no one else enters or stays at the place you are self-quarantining unless:

  • they usually live there and you need to provide care/support to them, or receive care/support from them, or
  • they are also self-quarantining, or
  • your house is appropriately set up so you do not have contact with other people, as outlined in the ‘Living with other people’ section below.

Because we need to minimise the number of people you are in contact with, you may need to make arrangements for yourself or other household members to stay somewhere else.

If this is not possible, please contact the COVID-19 Relief Call Centre on 1300 705 336 for information and assistance with accommodation support for people unable to appropriately self-quarantine at home. You can also email housingrelief@sa.gov.au.

Living with other people

Others who live with you are not required to self-isolate/self-quarantine unless requested by SA Health or SA Police.

However, if you develop symptoms and are suspected to have COVID-19, other household members will be classified as close contacts and will then also need to self-isolate.

  • Avoid contact with other people living in the same home as you. Do not be in the same room as them.
  • Sleep in your own room and use a dedicated bathroom and toilet (if available).
  • Keep your door closed. You can open your window for fresh air.
  • Avoid sharing towels, toiletries or other household items with others in your house.
  • Wash clothes and bed linen in a separate load, using a hot wash cycle.
  • Do not use the kitchen when other people are in the room. Eat your meal in your room.
  • Make sure you have separate items like plates and cutlery. Wash dishes using the dishwasher or wash well in hot soapy water.
  • Regularly clean frequently touched items with a detergent or disinfectant (eg. television remotes, door knobs, light switches, bench tops). Use disposable paper towel or disposable wipes or cloths.

Transport

You should not be travelling when you are in self-isolation/self-quarantine. You need to stay at home, except in an emergency situation (including a health emergency).

If you need to travel home from the airport or to seek medical care, wear a surgical. Use a personal mode of transport, such as a car, to minimise exposure to others.

If you need to use public transport (e.g. taxi, ride-share, bus), stay at least 1.5 metres from other people, wash/sanitise your hands frequently, and wear a mask.

Monitor your symptoms

Monitor yourself for symptoms including:

  • fever
  • chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of taste and smell.

Other symptoms may include:

  • body aches
  • diarrhoea
  • fatigue
  • muscle aches.

What do I do if I develop symptoms or become unwell?

Call a doctor or hospital and tell them that you are in isolation for coronavirus (COVID-19) and that you have symptoms. Follow their instructions closely. Your GP may be able to organise for a nurse (domiciliary service) to come to your house to take a COVID-19 test.

If you are unsure what to do, call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 000 (Triple Zero), ask for an ambulance – tell them you are in isolation because of COVID-19.

Going outside

You can go into your private garden or courtyard by yourself.

If you live in an apartment, hotel or shared lodgings, you must avoid common areas and do not go to public parks or gardens.

You cannot take your dog or other pets for walks outside of your property.

Primary producers

If you are a primary producer and have been ordered to self-isolate/self-quarantine, you must remain within the boundaries of your property and avoid contact with other people.

Essential travel within and between land parcels is acceptable, provided you avoid contact with any staff/contractors and visitors (e.g. stay in your vehicle with windows closed to allow contractors or deliveries to enter the property via a gate.)

Cleaning

Regularly clean objects and surfaces that are frequently touched, such as door handles, light switches, and kitchen and bathroom areas.

Clean with household detergent (liquid or wipes) and if available, disinfectant (e.g. sodium hypochlorite / bleach based products).

Rubbish and waste

Dispose used personal items such as tissues, disposable masks, gloves, and other contaminated items in a rubbish bin lined with a plastic bag inside your room.

Tie-off/close the plastic bag and dispose of the bag into the general household waste bin (not recycling).

After handling and disposal of waste, wash hands thoroughly.

Shopping

Do not go shopping. Arrange for food and essential items to be dropped off at your door by family or friends, or use online shopping services offered by many supermarkets.

You can order food from restaurants or services that can provide home delivery.

Do not interact face-to-face with people delivering your items or food.

Accessing medicines

If you need medicines (including prescription medicines), ask a family member or friend (who is not in isolation) to deliver them to your home.

Some pharmacies offer a home delivery service. Ask for deliveries to be left at your door.

Find out more in the Consumer factsheet on Emergency supply of essential medicines and the Coronavirus (PDF 161KB).

Taking care of your health and wellbeing

Being in self-isolation/self-quarantine may be stressful, frustrating and boring.

Please take care of your health and wellbeing:

  • Keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media.
  • Reassure young children using age-appropriate language.
  • Where possible, keep up normal daily routines that you can do while in your room, such as eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of fluids and in-room exercise if you do not have a backyard.
  • Consider finding an exercise or yoga video online (e.g. YouTube).
  • Try self-care strategies and try not to rely on just one, e.g. hot cups of tea, time with your pets, getting outside in the sunshine, or reading a favourite book.
  • Arrange to work from home if this option is available to you.
  • Ask your child’s school to supply assignments or homework by post or e-mail.
  • Do things that help you relax and use isolation as an opportunity to do activities you don’t usually have time for.

Hardship support

SA COVID Relief Centre

In you need additional emergency supplies, for example, if you cannot buy food or other essential items due to financial hardship, or do not have a safe place to stay during isolation, additional support is available.

You can access this by calling the SA COVID Relief Centre on 1300 705 336.

Telecross REDi COVID-19

Specially trained Australian Red Cross staff and volunteers provides phone-based to support the wellbeing of community members. Further steps will be taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the person as appropriate.

Community members impacted by self-isolation/self-quarantine can access the service by:

Mental health support

It’s normal to feel stress or worry when being tested for COVID-19, and when in isolation or quarantine. Family and friends can also experience similar mental health impacts.

For urgent assistance, contact the Mental Health Triage Service (24/7) on 13 14 65.

Visit the COVID-19 Mental Health Support page for services and other resources for mental health support during this challenging time.

Finishing your self-isolation/self-quarantine period

If you are in self-quarantine because of travel outside of South Australia, once you have self-quarantined for 14 days and are symptom-free, you no longer need to self-quarantine.

You do not need to get a medical clearance certificate to return to work, school or childcare.

If you are in self-isolation because you have had a COVID-19 test, you can leave self-isolation once you receive a negative result, however you should avoid contact with others while you are unwell.

If you test negative but have travelled, come into close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or otherwise been directed to isolate/quarantine by the Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB), you are still required to isolate/quarantine until the end of your designated travel quarantine period, or CDCB advise you that you can be released.

What is the difference between self-isolation and self-quarantine?

These terms may be used under legal requirements under the Emergency Management Act, and you may be directed to remain isolated or quarantined by staff working for SA Health or SA Police.

Isolation / self-isolation

Refers to when a person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is suspected of having it (and doesn’t need to be in hospital), including while awaiting test results, they must stay in self-isolation.

Quarantine / self-quarantine

When a person is not sick but is required to stay away from others due to a risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as interstate or overseas travel, they must stay in self-quarantine.

Translated information

For a range of COVID-19 posters, fact sheets, guidelines and other publications and resources in international language translations visit the translated resources page.

Translating or interpreting services: 131 450

Further information