Quarantine information for close contacts
You have been identified by the NT Health Public Health Unit contact tracing team as being a “close contact” of someone with coronavirus (COVID-19).
You must quarantine yourself in your home or other suitable place for 14 days after you last had contact with that person. You must quarantine yourself until the contact tracing team tells you it is safe to end your quarantine period.
It is very important that you follow this guidance – it is required under the law.
A close contact is someone who has been near enough to a person with COVID-19 while they were infectious that there is a possibility they will have been infected with COVID-19.
As you have been identified as a close contact by the CDC contact tracing team, you need to self-quarantine in your home or another suitable place immediately. You must also get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, even if you don’t have symptoms.
People living in the same household as an identified close contact also need to self-quarantine until the close contact receives an initial negative test result. Other people living in the household do not need to be tested unless they have symptoms.
Quarantine for close contacts is enforceable under the Chief Health Officer (CHO) Directions.
Yes, all close contacts need to self-quarantine, even if you are well.
Quarantine is used when a person is well but has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. You must remain in quarantine for 14 days after you last had contact with the infectious person as this is the period in which you may develop COVID-19, even without symptoms.
An authorised contact tracer will advise how long you need to quarantine. You must tell the contact tracer of the place you will quarantine and provide a contact phone number. An authorised contact tracer is a NT Health worker who investigates COVID-19 to identify and follow up people who have had contact with someone with COVID-19.
Public Health compliance officers or NT police may visit you to check that you are at your place of quarantine and to ensure you are following your obligations.
Yes, all close contacts must get tested as soon as possible, even if you don’t have symptoms.
If you do not yet have an appointment for your first test in quarantine:
- Use the online booking form at https://covid19appointment.nt.gov.au/test#/appointment
- Or call the NT COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 490 484 and follow the prompts for a close contact
When going to get tested, you must not travel by public transport or ride-share. Wear a face mask and tell staff immediately that you are a close contact of a person with COVID-19. If you are unable to self drive and a household member is driving, you must both wear mask and you should sit in the back seat with windows down.
If your test is positive for COVID-19, the NT CDC will let you know the next steps.
If you test negative, you still need to remain in quarantine until the quarantine period finishes. This is because it can take up to 14 days for you to show symptoms (physical signs in your body showing you may have COVID-19) or test positive without symptoms.
If you develop symptoms at any stage, you will need to be tested again.
Regardless of any symptoms or past tests you will also be required to have at least one other test towards the end of the quarantine period, the “exit quarantine test”. The contact tracing team will advise you about how further testing will arranged.
- Go directly to the place where you will quarantine (home, quarantine facility, hotel or other accommodation).
- You must stay there and not attend any activities outside this location, unless for urgent medical care or in an emergency (including to avoid injury or escape risk of harm from domestic violence). If you leave home for these reasons you must wear a face mask, stay 1.5m away from anyone else, and travel directly to and from the location back to your home, accommodation or alternative accommodation in the case of an emergency.
- Do not go to work, school, childcare or public areas and do not use public transport or ride share.
- You can go into your private garden, balcony or courtyard if you have one.
- Practice good hygiene:
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Wash your hands:
- before entering an area where there are other people
- before touching things used by other people
- after using the toilet
- after coughing or sneezing
- before putting on, and after removing, gloves and masks.
- Clean all surfaces you touch often (counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables) at least once a day wearing disposable gloves. After cleaning apply a household disinfectant or diluted bleach solution. Further information about cleaning can be found here.
No. People who are not providing essential services such as essential medical care or emergency maintenance must not be in your home or accommodation while you are in quarantine.
Ask family or friends to pick up groceries and medicines for you. If this is not possible, you may be able to order groceries, medicines and prescription medicines online or by telephone.
Make sure deliveries are left outside your door and that you only open your door after the person delivering the items has left.
If you need help with obtaining food, medicines and essential supplies or experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and quarantine, call 1800 490 484 and follow the prompts for a close contact so you can speak with a contact tracing officer who can refer you to the appropriate service.
Initially people sharing a house with you will also need to quarantine until you receive your first negative test result. This means that they must immediately and completely isolate themselves from you from now until the end of your quarantine period.
At all times, if you live with other people, you will need to:
- remain separated
- stay and sleep in a different room
- use a separate bathroom, if available (otherwise clean it after every use)
- wear a mask when you are in the same room as another person (even if they are also in quarantine)
- not share household items including dishes, cups, towels, bedding, or other items. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water or use a dishwasher/washing machine
- avoid shared areas and wear a mask when moving through these areas
- not be in a room with people who are at risk of severe disease, such as elderly people, immunocompromised people, and those who have heart, lung or kidney conditions, and diabetes.
If you are unable to effectively quarantine from household members, phone 1800 490 484 and follow the prompts for a close contact so you can discuss alternative accommodation with a contact tracing officer.
As a close contact of someone with COVID-19, if you have not experienced any symptoms, you do not need to inform other people you have had contact with a case.
However, if you do develop symptoms while you are in quarantine, and test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), your close contacts will need to be informed. In this situation the CDC contact tracing team will contact you to determine who your close contacts are and then contact those people to explain what they need to do.
The contact tracing officer will determine if they need to be contacted or not.
The NT CDC will send you an SMS each day asking if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. When you receive this text, please respond with your FIRST and LAST name, and either YES or NO. If you do not respond, we will send you a reminder text or call you. The reason we do this is to ensure you are tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible should you become unwell. It also ensure that you do not need to stay in quarantine any longer than you need to.
Compliance officers or NT police may also visit you at your quarantine location during this period.
If you develop symptoms at any point during quarantine, go immediately to the online booking form at https://covid19appointment.nt.gov.au/test#/appointment and choose the next available appointment for a COVID-19 swab test. In addition call, 1800 490 484 and follow the prompts for a close contact so you can inform a contact tracing officer.
When going to your appointment, you must not travel by public transport or ride-share. You must wear a face mask and tell staff immediately that you are a close contact of a person with COVID-19.
Symptoms you should watch carefully for are:
- fever (37.5°C or higher) or history of fever (night sweats, chills)
- runny nose
- shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
- sore throat
- loss of smell
- loss of taste
Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include an acute blocked nose (congestion), fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, unexplained chest pain and conjunctivitis.
If you become severely unwell and it is a medical emergency, you should phone Triple Zero (000). Tell the ambulance staff that you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
Talk to the other members of the family about COVID-19 to reduce anxiety. You can find accurate, up to date information at Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert | Australian Government Department of Health
Further resources and contact details are available at the end of this information.
- Reassure young children using age-appropriate language.
- Keep up a normal daily routine as much as possible.
- Keep in touch with family members and friends via phone email or social media.
- Exercise regularly at home. Options could include exercise DVDs, dancing, floor exercises, yoga, walking around the backyard or using home exercise equipment, such as a stationary bicycle if you have one. Exercise is a proven treatment for stress and depression.
- Arrange with your employer to work from home, if possible.
- Think about how you have coped with difficult situations in the past and reassure yourself that you will cope with this situation too. Remember that quarantine won’t last for long.
- Try not to rely too heavily on the television and technology. Instead, try treating self-quarantine as an opportunity to do some of those things you never usually have time for, such as board games, craft, drawing and reading.
You can leave quarantine once you have been contacted and advised to do so by an authorised contact tracer, completed the 14-day period, received a negative test result from your “exit quarantine test and are symptom free.
You can return to daily activities including using public transport, going to work and seeing friends and family, so long as no other restrictions apply in your community.
You should continue to practice good hygiene and physical distancing to reduce the spread of all infectious diseases:
- stay 1.5 metres away from people you don’t live with
- wash your hands often for 20 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- avoid touching your face, especially your eyes and mouth
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing.
If you develop symptoms at any point after your quarantine period, get tested immediately.
Not following these guidelines puts family, friends and the community at risk. Breaching the CHO Directions for quarantine is a criminal offence and can result in fines or imprisonment.
For more information and support while in self-quarantine:
|NT COVID-19 hotline||1800 490 484||Follow the prompts for a close contact|
|National Coronavirus Health Information Line||1800 020 080||24 hours a day, seven days a week|
|HealthDirect hotline||1800 022 222||24 hours a day, seven days a week For information on where to go to get help in your area. If there are no GPs open near you, HealthDirect may offer you a call back from a GP who can provide advice.|
|Emergency services||000||If you think you need an ambulance or your injury or illness is critical or life threatening, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance immediately|
|Translating and Interpreting Service||131 450||24 hours a day, seven days a week|
|Lifeline Australia||13 11 14||A 24/7 crisis support service that provides short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.|
|Beyond Blue||1800 512 348||Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service|
|Kids Helpline||1800 551 800||A free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years.|
|Northern Territory Mental Health Line||1800 682 288||24 hours a day, seven days a week|