Leaving isolation after having COVID-19

Last Updated: 15 Jul 2022 3:42pm

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When you test positive to COVID-19, it is important to complete a minimum of 7 days isolation to prevent you infecting others.

View Leaving isolation after having COVID-19 factsheet and Recovering from COVID-19 and leaving isolation.

Requirements to leave isolation

Cases can be released from isolation 7 days after their first positive test - only if they meet the following two criteria: 

  • your respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat, or shortness of breath) have gone, or are much better  AND
  • you have not had a fever (or signs of fever such as chills or night sweats) for at least 24 hours.

This is because fever or respiratory symptoms that haven’t improved significantly could mean you are still infectious. That’s why it’s important to stay in isolation until you meet the criteria above.

If you have other symptoms after 7 days (for example tiredness or headaches) you can leave isolation but you should seek advice from your GP or other healthcare provider if you are concerned.

If you are not getting better, or you are concerned, contact your GP or healthcare provider in the first instance, or phone the COVID@homeplus team on 1800 973 363.

Your GP or healthcare provider can provide further support, help you manage your symptoms, and assess whether you need further clinical care.

Public Health will send you an email during your isolation period. This email will contain an official letter of release from isolation and can be used as proof of release or as a medical certificate.

Returning to work and other activities

Once you have completed your isolation requirements, you are able to return to work.

There is not a Public Health requirement to provide a negative test before returning to the workplace once you have completed your day 7 isolation requirement.

Although you are able to return to normal activities after you have completed your isolation requirement, be aware of some minor lingering symptoms you may experience.

Your body has been exposed to a virus and everyone recovers differently. Speak to your GP or healthcare provider if you are concerned about any ongoing symptoms.

Re-exposure to COVID-19

Within 4 weeks of your release from isolation

If you become a close contact of a confirmed case within 4 weeks of your release from isolation, you will not need to follow the close contact rules.

After 4 weeks from your release from isolation

If you become a close contact of a confirmed case after 4 weeks from your release from isolation, you will need to follow the close contact rules.

Testing after having COVID-19

Within 4 weeks of your release from isolation

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 less than 4 weeks after your release from isolation, you do not need to get tested for COVID-19, unless you are immunocompromised or at risk of severe disease.

After 4 weeks from your release from isolation

If you have COVID19 symptoms and it has been more than 4 weeks since your release from isolation, you should get tested for COVID19 because your immunity may have decreased. Unfortunately, people can become unwell with COVID-19 more than once.

Vaccination and boosters

People who have had COVID-19 can be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. Current advice is to wait 3 months after your confirmed COVID-19 infection before receiving your next COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended that you still receive all of your COVID-19 vaccines.

If you are concerned about any symptoms you are still experiencing after having COVID-19 speak to your health care provider or GP prior to your vaccination.

See Vaccination for more information.