Advice for close contacts

Last Updated: 14 Jan 2022 12:27pm

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Close contacts explained

It is important to know what to do if you are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case.

A close contact is a person who usually lives with or who has visited the same household for more than 4 hours as a COVID-19 case during their infectious period. A confirmed case must notify their close contacts so they can follow the requirements to quarantine and get tested.

Close contacts are:

  • anyone who lives with a confirmed case
  • anyone who has visited the house of a confirmed case for more than 4 hours over a 24 hour period
  • if a case while infectious has visited another household for more than 4 hours, all members of that household are close contacts.

A close contact can also be someone that has spent 4 hours at the same site, workplace or venue as a case during a significant transmission event

Close contacts are required to quarantine for 7 days and get tested for COVID-19:

  • on day 1 and 6; and
  • immediately if symptoms develop

Close contacts can leave quarantine on day 7 if:

  • they have received a negative RAT or PCR test result from a test taken on day 6; and
  • if they live with a confirmed COVID-19 case, have been able to maintain appropriate separation in the household; and
  • have no symptoms

A contingency framework is being put in place to enable workplaces, identified as essential for the supply of critical goods and services to the community, to register for essential staff to be exempt from the quarantine requirement for close contacts if they are identified as a critical worker. See Framework for critical industries for more details.

View Infographic - What to do if you are a close contact.

For advice on looking after your mental health and coping while in quarantine.

Social contacts

Cases must tell their social contacts that you have tested positive for COVID-19. Social contacts do not need to quarantine however they must get tested if they develop any symptoms.

Social contacts are people who you have had 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with, or spent over 2 hours with a case, in the same indoor space.

Social contacts are not people from a cases home, workplace or school.

If they develop symptoms, they must get tested and stay in quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

People who are close contacts cannot follow this advice, close contacts must isolate for 7 days.

Workplace/education facilities

If a confirmed case worked onsite while infectious, they must tell their  employer/workplace they have tested positive to COVID-19.

The employer/workplace will advise all other staff to monitor for symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop and isolate until they get a negative test restult.

Workplace exposures - where masks are worn, will not be deemed as close contacts. Workplaces will not be listed as exposure sites and will not be ordered to close down.

If you, or your child attended an education facility (school, childcare or early childhood) while infectious, you must tell the education facility you have tested positive for COVID-19. The education facility will tell other students and staff who are education contacts that they must get a RAT if they have symptoms.

To reduce any risk of transmission it is important workplaces and education settings continue following COVID-safe behaviours.

  • Wear face masks
  • Maintain physical distancing
  • Stay home when unwell and get tested
  • Practice hand hygiene
  • Use Check-in TAS


Testing, quarantine and isolation plan