Visiting public hospitals during COVID-19

The safety and welfare of people in our hospital and health services during COVID-19 pandemic means there are some restrictions for visitors.

The below visitor guidelines have been developed to protect staff, patients and visitors.

The below restrictions are a guideline online. Check with the individual hospital or health service for local visitor information before you visit.

Physical distancing requirements will mean that the maximum number of allowed visitors is not always possible in areas.

Visitor restrictions

All visitors to public hospitals must provide proof of an TGA approved COVID-19 vaccination status upon entry (unless they have an approved medical exemption, or a child 12 years or less).

Unvaccinated visitors who visit a hospital will be required to undertake a COVID-19 test (PCR) 48 hours after their visit and subsequently and routinely thereafter if visiting regularly.

Unvaccinated visitors will be required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in hospital. In all settings a mask will be required. However, in some settings with vulnerable patients, unvaccinated visitors may also need to wear a gown, gloves and eye wear.


Visitors should not enter a hospital or residential care facility if they have:

  • a temperature higher than 38 degrees Celsius, fever, chills or symptoms of acute respiratory infection in the preceding 72 hours
  • been a known contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 (unless appropriate PPE was worn)
  • tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • been to a specified location, and are subject to the relevant level 1, level 2, level 3, level 4, level 5 or level 6 requirements as outlined in the Cross Border Travel Direction.

Adult patients

Hospital inpatients

Visitors will only be allowed on site for compassionate reasons or End of Life/ Palliative Care, including younger people requiring a parent or guardian and some emergency care situations.

Visitors may be asked to wear additional PPE when entering a high risk setting, as determined by the hospital or health care service.

Outpatients and Emergency

Maximum of one visitor may accompany a patient to an Emergency Department or a hospital based outpatient appointment provided physical distancing can be maintained.

Maternity patients

Delivery and postnatal wards

Maximum of one visitor (partner or designated support person) may attend with the patient in labour, and in the ward environment.

Outpatients and Emergency

Maximum of one visitor may accompany a patient to an Emergency Department or a hospital based outpatient appointment, provided physical distancing can be maintained

Paediatric patients

Inpatients

Maximum of one visitor (parent or guardian) with the child in the consultation room. In addition to this, a second visitor can visit for a maximum of two hours per day, during established visiting periods (maximum two visitors per day).

Neonates/Neonatal ICU patients

Maximum of one visitor can visit per day.

Children’s Oncology ward, Outpatients and Emergency

Maximum of one visitor who may accompany a patient to an Emergency Department, Children’s Oncology ward or a hospital-based outpatient appointment provided physical distancing can be maintained.

Outpatients, Emergency and oncology wards

Maximum of one visitor may accompany a patient to an Emergency Department, a hospital-based outpatient appointment, or children’s oncology ward.

Palliative, end of life or critically unwell patients

Hospital Settings

In the terminal phase of a terminal illness the hospital has the discretion to determine the appropriate visitor numbers for compassionate reasons, considering the environment and ability to social distance.

Communal spaces in ward areas are to be kept free of visitors.

Residential Care Facilities

No current restrictions.

Residential Aged Care Facility

All people (excluding residents and children under 12 years) visiting a Residential Aged Care Facility must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and must wear a mask.

A resident of a Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) with more than 70% of its residents who have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, is not limited to a number of care and support visits per day.

A resident of a RACF with less than 70% of its residents who have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, may have one care and support visit of two persons or two separate visits from one person, per day.

For more information see the Aged Care – COVID-19 page.