Self-isolation and self-quarantine advice for COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Bushfires and COVID-19: If you are in self-quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19, you can leave your home if you are in an emergency or your home is unsafe – but try to get back home as soon as you can safely.
During an emergency, if you need to attend an emergency relief centre or a Bushfire Last Resort Refuge, you need to stay outside, alert emergency services (e.g. SAPOL, relief authorities at the location) and follow instructions. Advise emergency services that you have left self-quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19. Review your Bushfire Survival Plan.
Download this page as a fact sheet: Self-Isolation and Self-Quarantine Advice (PDF 250KB)
For information on testing visit the Testing for COVID-19 page.
Who needs to be in self-quarantine or self-isolation?
People waiting for their COVID-19 test result
After a person has had a COVID-19 test, they must stay in self-isolation until they receive a negative result (people who have been directed to self-quarantine must remain in quarantine until the end date provided by SA Health, even if they receive a negative test result).
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-quarantine until the date provided to them by the Communicable Disease Control Branch at SA Health.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19
A person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (and doesn’t need to be in hospital) must stay in self-isolation until they are cleared by SA Health to leave self-isolation.
Arriving from overseas
Arrivals into Australia are quarantined in their port of arrival in supervised accommodation for 14 days. For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs COVID-19 page.
Arriving from Interstate
If you are travelling to South Australia from interstate you must complete a cross border pre-approval form at least 14 days prior to arrival.
Keep up-to-date with the latest information on South Australia’s border restrictions on the SA.GOV.AU Travel Restrictions page.
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
- If you have been directed to self-quarantine or if you have had a COVID-19 test you must go directly home and not stop anywhere on the way.
- You must stay at a suitable place and not leave unless you need to seek urgent medical care or to have a COVID-19 test. If you must leave for these reasons, wear a surgical mask.
- You must not go to public places such as 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.
Where to self-isolate / self-quarantine
You must directly travel to your place of self-quarantine/self-isolation.
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/self-isolation, 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.
Living with other people
SA Health or SA Police will advise if people who usually live in your household also need to self-quarantine.
If others who live with you are not required to self-quarantine or self-isolate, you must follow the below instructions to ensure you do not have any contact with others who live with you:
- Avoid contact with other people living in the same home. 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 and 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 meals 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.
If people who live with you develop symptoms, they must self-isolate immediately and seek testing.
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) or to get a COVID-19 test.
If you need to travel, use a personal mode of transport, such as a car, to minimise exposure to others. If your only option is public transport (e.g. taxi, ride-share, bus), wear a surgical mask, stay at least 1.5 metres from other people, and wash/sanitise your hands frequently.
Monitor your symptoms
If you are in self-quarantine, monitor yourself for symptoms including:
- fever OR chills (with no alternative illness that explains these symptoms)
- sore throat
- runny nose
- shortness of breath
- loss of taste and smell
- diarrhoea and vomiting
The Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB) at SA Health will also be in contact with you to monitor for symptoms.
If you develop symptoms while in self-quarantine, call CDCB on 1300 232 272 and tell them that you are in quarantine for COVID-19 and that you have developed symptoms. Follow their instructions. CDCB may be able to organise for a nurse (domiciliary service) to come to your house to take a COVID-19 test or provide instructions on how to get a test.
If you are unsure what to do, call CDCB or 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 quarantine because of COVID-19.
If you are in self-isolation because you have tested positive for COVID-19, SA Health will also monitor your symptoms through a medical assessment team. If you develop 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.
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. Do not go to public parks or gardens. You cannot take your dog or other pets for walks outside of your property.
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.)
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). Use disposable paper towel or disposable wipes or cloths.
Rubbish and waste
Dispose of 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.
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.
You can order food from home delivery services. Most major supermarkets offer a delivery service for people in quarantine/isolation.
Do not interact face-to-face with people delivering your items or food. Ask for deliveries to be left at your door.
If you need medicines (including prescription medicines), ask a family member or friend to deliver them to your home and to leave at your door.
Some pharmacies offer a home delivery service. Ask for deliveries to be left at your door.
Taking care of your health and wellbeing
Being in self-isolation/self-quarantine may be stressful, frustrating and boring. Family and friends can also experience similar impacts to their mental health and wellbeing.
There are some things that you can do to look after yourself during this time:
- Keep up your daily routine as much as possible, such as keeping your regular sleeping hours, eating healthy foods, and drinking enough water.
- Stay connected with family and friends via telephone or online (e.g. Skype, Facetime).
- Consider finding an exercise or yoga video online (e.g. YouTube).
- Avoid over-indulging in alcohol or comfort foods.
- Arrange to work from home if this option is available to you.
- Ask your child’s school to supply assignments or homework by e-mail.
- Do things that help you relax and use isolation as an opportunity to do activities you don’t usually have time for.
- Be aware of overexposure to news sources and social media. Keeping informed can be helpful, but repeated bulletins about COVID-19 may be overwhelming.
- Be aware that you may experience changes in your mood or feelings, including periods of sadness, anxiety, frustration or uncertainty. If these feelings become severe or are not going away, please seek help. Internet or phone based supports are available (see next page).
- Visit Open Your World website for information and resources to look after your wellbeing at home.
Financial and hardship support
SA COVID Relief Centre
The COVID-19 Relief Call Centre provides information and assistance with such things as personal hardship support, accommodation support for people unable to safely quarantine/isolate and accommodation for emergency services personnel who are required to quarantine but unable to do so at home. Call 1300 705 336 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on financial support available to South Australians is available at covid-19.sa.gov.au.
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 a range of support services and other resources for adults, children, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Finishing your self-isolation/self-quarantine period
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 have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or directed to self-quarantine by SA Health, you are still required to remain in self-quarantine until the end of your designated quarantine period as advised by SA Health, even if you return a negative test result.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 you are required to remain in self-isolation until the date advised by SA Health, even if you feel well.
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 SA Health or SA Police.
Isolation / self-isolation
When a person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19 (and doesn’t need to be in hospital), including a person who is waiting for 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 being determined by SA Health to be a close contact or a person returning from overseas travel, they must stay in self-quarantine.
For COVID-19 posters, fact sheets, videos and audio resources in languages other than English, visit the translated resources page.
Translating or interpreting services: 131 450