You are considered a close contact if you:
- reside or stay in the same household as a COVID-19 positive person
- have spent 4 or more continuous hours indoors with a COVID-19 positive person while they were infectious.
A person’s infectious period is usually the 2 days before they developed symptoms, or 2 days before they tested positive if they did not have symptoms.
What you must do
From the date you were last in contact with the infectious person you must:
- have a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test:
- within 3 days of becoming a close contact
- on day 6 of becoming a close contact
- wear a mask when indoors at a place which is not your residence for 7 days
- wear a mask outside of your residence when you cannot maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people for 7 days
- avoid visiting high risk settings such as a hospital, disability shared care house, residential aged care facility or correctional facility for 7 days
- inform your employer or school that you are a close contact.
- Work from home if you can.
- Avoid contact with people who at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
- Avoid large or crowded indoor gatherings.
- Have a Rapid Antigen Test before attending indoor gatherings with people you don’t live with, your workplace or education facilities.
If you develop symptoms
Immediately isolate and have a COVID-19 test. You will need to remain isolated until your symptoms resolve.
If you receive a positive COVID-19 test at any time, you must isolate immediately for at least 7 days from the day the test was taken.
Find out what to do if you test positive for COVID-19.
Calculating your close contact period
Close contact of a COVID-19 positive person
Day zero of your close contact period starts on the day you were last in contact with the person while they were infectious.
For example, if you were in contact with an infectious person at 2pm on 12 January 2022, this is day zero. Your day seven is 19 January 2022. Your close contact period ends at noon if you have completed the required testing, received negative test results and have no symptoms.
Close contact of a COVID-19 positive person you live with
Day zero of your close contact period starts on the day the person you live with tested positive.
The close contact period is capped at seven days from when the first person in the household tested positive.
Close contacts who work in high risk places
Close contacts who work at a high risk place may enter their workplace if they:
- have a negative Rapid Antigen Test each day before attending work
- wear a face mask
- maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from other people where possible.
If you are required to isolate at home or a suitable place for at least seven days you must stay home and can only leave for the following reasons:
- in case of an emergency
- to access essential medical care
- to escape family violence
- to get food if there is no way for it to be provided or delivered to you
- to drop off and pick up children at day care, pre-school and school, as well as for any other educational, recreational or health related purposes
- to transport children between households in order to facilitate shared parenting arrangements
- to leave the Territory.
If you leave isolation for any of the above listed reasons, you must wear a face mask and take all reasonable measures to stay 1.5 metres away from other people.
When you are isolating, you may go outside into your private backyard, courtyard or balcony as long as there is no one else who is not in isolation with you there.
Visitors cannot come to your home while you are isolating, with the exception of healthcare or disability professionals providing an essential service – you should tell them that you isolated so they can take appropriate precautions.
You can ask friends or family members who are not isolating with you to get food and medication for you. Make sure they leave it at your door. You cannot have contact with anyone delivering any supplies.
You can arrange a food delivery service. Have all food left outside your house. Do not let any delivery person into your home or accommodation.
If there is no other way to obtain food for your household, one member of your family who feels well and is not COVID-19 positive, can leave the house to get essential food items for the household. This person can leave for a maximum of one hour, once per day to obtain the food. They must wear a mask and maintain 1.5 metres from other people at all times.
If you need a prescription filled, arrange this with your usual pharmacist or GP. They can deliver it to your home or accommodation, or you can let your friend or family member know where to collect the medication.
What if I test positive for COVID-19
After being exposed to someone with COVID-19, you are at risk of developing it for 14 days.
If you receive a positive COVID-19 test, your isolation period will start from the day the test was taken.
You need to follow the steps identified in the COVID-positive checklist. Find out what to do if you have COVID-19.
Remember, if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, get tested immediately.