Isolation and quarantine advice for COVID-19 (coronavirus)

How do I isolate as a positive case?

If you test positive to COVID-19, you need to isolate for 10 days from the date you took the test.

Find more specific information about how to isolate if you have tested positive to COVID-19.

I am waiting for a COVID-19 test, do I need to isolate?

After you have had a COVID-19 test, you must isolate until you receive a negative result if you have symptoms or you are required to test under a Direction.

If you have been directed to quarantine, you must remain in quarantine until the end of your designated quarantine period, even if you receive a negative test result.

How is quarantine monitored and enforced?

SA Police undertakes periodic checks on people in mandated quarantine or isolation to ensure they are complying.

How to quarantine as a close contact?

If you are advised that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive to COVID-19, you need to quarantine immediately and get a COVID-19 PCR test.

How do I quarantine?

  • You must stay in your home or at suitable accommodation at all times, unless you need to seek urgent medical care or access COVID-19 testing.
  • You must not have visitors or leave your home. This means you must not go to public places such as work, school, childcare, university, shopping centres, 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. Do not open the door until the person making the delivery has left.

I live with someone who has tested positive, what do I need to do?

To reduce your risk of getting sick or potentially extending your quarantine, it’s important you quarantine appropriately away from the positive case.

You must have no contact with the person who has tested positive to COVID-19. Ideally, this would be in a separate house or residence.

If you cannot quarantine in a separate house or residence as the positive case, to appropriately quarantine the positive person must be able to stay in a separate room and if they leave the room (e.g. to go to the bathroom, laundry or kitchen), you must ensure that you are not in an area they will pass through. Follow the advice below about living with other people.

How long do I need to stay in quarantine?

If you live with a positive case of COVID-19 and you cannot appropriately quarantine away from them, you must quarantine for 14 days from the date the positive case had their test taken. You do not need to have a COVID-19 PCR test unless you develop any symptoms.

If you are a close contact and do not live with someone who has tested positive, or you can appropriately quarantine away from the positive case, you must follow the below advice for close contacts:

  • immediately quarantine for 7 days since you saw the positive case
  • get a COVID-19 test immediately
  • get a COVID-19 test again on day 6 after exposure (a negative day 6 test is required to be released from quarantine)
  • get a COVID-19 test again immediately if symptoms develop
  • not attend high risk settings or COVID Management Plan events for 14 days after exposure
  • wear a surgical mask when around others
  • avoid contact with vulnerable people (young children, elderly, pregnant, people with chronic health conditions), avoid non-essential activities, avoid working across worksites and avoid shared spaces and maintain physical distancing on days 8 to 14 after exposure.

I live with other people in my home, what do I need to do?

To avoid potentially spreading COVID-19 as a close contact, you should avoid contact with other people in your house.

Practice good hand hygiene like covering coughs and sneezes and wiping down surfaces.

Do people in my household need to quarantine or get tested?

If you are a close contact, people in your household should monitor for symptoms and get a COVID-19 PCR test if they develop, no matter how mild. If they develop symptoms they must quarantine until they receive their negative COVID-19 result.

Staying safe while in home quarantine

Going outside

You can go into your private garden or courtyard by yourself. A mask must be worn while moving between your room and the outside space, if other people live in the household.
If you live in an apartment, hotel or shared lodgings, you can use the balcony if there is one available as part of your flat/apartment, however, do not go into common areas that other people use.

Do not go to public parks or shared gardens.


Regularly clean objects and surfaces that are frequently touched, such as benchtops, tabletops, bedside tables, phones, computer keyboards, 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.

Read labels of cleaning products and follow the instructions for use. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product. They also include precautions you should take when applying the product.

The disinfectant you use should say on the label it is hospital-grade that kills viruses. You can also use a chlorine-based product such as bleach.

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.

Accessing medicines

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.


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 or isolation.

Do not interact face-to-face with people delivering your items or food. Ask for deliveries to be left at your door. Wear a face mask and do not open your door until they have left.
If you have touched the outside of the door, wipe it over with detergent and disinfectant.


  • Wash clothes and bed linen using a hot wash cycle.
  • After using the laundry ensure the area is cleaned and disinfected.
  • If other household members do your washing, place your dirty clothes/linen into a plastic bag. Tie it off and leave outside your door. The person doing the washing should wear gloves and a mask when removing the dirty washing and placing into the washing machine.
  • Do not shake the linen or items being washed and avoid unnecessary handling – try to tip the washing bag contents directly into the washing machine. Avoid contamination of clothing by holding the washing bag away from your body.
  • Hands must be cleaned after handling dirty washing.
  • Washed clothes should either be dried in the dryer or put on a clothes line to dry.