Self-isolation and quarantine advice for COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Information for returned travellers, contacts of known COVID-19 cases, and other people who have been advised to self-isolate.

You can download this page as a fact sheet: Home-Isolation Advice (PDF 195KB)

Who needs to self isolate / self quaratine for 14 Days?

People who:

  • have arrived from overseas travel from any country
  • have arrived from interstate on or after 22 March (some exemptions apply)
  • have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have been advised to self-isolate

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How is this being monitored and enforced?

SA Health has legislated responsibility within the South Australian Emergency Management Act 2004(opens in a new window) and the State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP)(opens in a new window) for provision, maintenance and coordination of health services.

In addition to the travel restrictions in force, SA Health has issued the following Emergency Management Directions that prescribe what you must do if:

SA Police (SAPOL) will be undertaking periodic checks on people who have returned from overseas or interstate to ensure they are complying with the mandatory 14 days of self-quarantine.

Anyone who does not comply faces a maximum penalty of $20,000 for individuals and a maximum penalty of $75,000 for a company.

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How to isolate

During the 14 days of isolation you must stay at home (or your hotel room) and do not leave unless you need to seek urgent medical care.

If you live with others, you must stay in your own dedicated room. If you do not isolate yourself correctly, the people around you are more likely to get COVID-19. As a result, they may also need to isolate.

If you are in a hotel, avoid contact with other guests or staff. Use room service for food ask for your meal to be left outside the door.

  • If you must leave home, such as to seek urgent medical care, wear a surgical mask. If you don’t have a mask, take extra care to cover your coughs and sneezes, wash or sanitise your hands, and keep at least 1.5 metres away from others.
  • Don’t go to public places including work, school, childcare, university, shopping centres, public parks or any other public, social, or religious gatherings.
  • Do not go shopping or to restaurants – shop online or have family or friends deliver what you need to your door. 
  • Do not have visitors to your home. Only people who usually live with you should be in the home – they must not sleep or be in the same room as you.  

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Living with other people

Others who live with you are not required to be isolated unless they meet one of the isolation criteria outlined above, and if you closely follow the rules below.

However, if they develop symptoms and are suspected to have COVID-19, they will be classified as close contacts and will then need to be isolated.

  • If you are in your own home, avoid unnecessary contact with other people living with you (touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact). Maintain a 1.5 metre distance if you need to briefly move through shared living spaces and wear a mask if you have one.
  • Stay in your own room and keep your door closed. You can open your window for fresh air.
  • Use your own dedicated bathroom and toilet (if available). 
  • Avoid sharing towels, toiletries or other household items with others in your house.
  • Wash clothes and bed linen in a separate load, using a hot wash cycle. Hang clothes out to dry, or use a machine dryer. 
  • Avoid using the kitchen when other people are in the room and take your meals back to your room to eat.
  • Make sure you have separate items like plates and cutlery. Wash dishes using the dishwasher or wash well in hot soapy water.
  • All frequently touched items (eg. remotes, door knobs, light switches, benches) should be cleaned regularly with a detergent or disinfectant. Use disposable cleaning cloths such as paper towel or disposable wipes or cloths.

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You should not be travelling when you are in isolation as you will be staying at home.

When travelling to your home or to your hotel to start isolation you must wear a surgical mask if you have one. Use private transport, such as a car, to minimise exposure to others, especially if you do not have a mask.

However, if you must use a bus, train, uber or taxi to get home or seek medical care, ensure you wear a mask (if you have one). Keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people. For example, sit in the back seat, or sit away from others on the bus or train.

For more information see the precautions outlined in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for drivers and passengers using public transport.

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Monitor symptoms

When in isolation, monitor yourself for symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath. Other early symptoms may include chills, body aches, sore throat, runny nose, diarrhoea, fatigue and muscle pain.

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What do I do if I get sick?

Call a doctor or hospital and tell them that you are in isolation for coronavirus (COVID-19) and that you are unwell. 

Follow the specific instructions from the doctor or hospital when seeking medical care.

If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing call 000, ask for an ambulance – tell them you are in isolation because of COVID-19.

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Going outside

If you live in a private house, it is safe for you to go into your garden or courtyard alone. If you live on a rural property, you must remain within the boundaries of your property.

If you live with others, wear a mask if you have one and/or practice cough etiquette if you need to move through common areas of the house such as the kitchen.

If you live in an apartment, hotel or shared lodgings, you should avoid common areas and do not go to public parks or gardens.

You cannot take your dog or other pets for walks outside the boundary of your property.

Primary Producers  

If you are a primary producer and have been ordered to self-isolate, you must remain within the boundaries of your property and avoid contact with other people.

Essential Travel

Essential travel within and between land parcels is acceptable, provided you avoid contact with any staff/contractors and visitors (e.g. stay in your vehicle with windows closed to allow contractors or deliveries to enter the property via a gate.)

If You Develop Symptoms

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 you must not travel outside the boundaries of your main property except to seek testing for COVID-19 or for urgent medical care.

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To minimise the spread of any germs, you should regularly clean surfaces that are frequently touched, such as door handles, light switches, kitchen and bathroom areas.

Clean with household detergent (liquid or wipes) and if available, disinfectant (e.g. sodium hypochlorite / bleach based products).

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Rubbish and waste

Dispose of all used personal care items such as tissues, disposable masks, gloves, and other items contaminated with respiratory secretions or other body fluids in a rubbish bin inside your room which is lined with a plastic bag.

When the bin in your room is 3/4 full, “tie-off” the plastic bag to prevent spillage of the contents. Avoid touching the inside of the bag and dispose of the bag into the general household waste bin. This waste should NOT go into the recycling bin.

After handling and disposal of waste, hands must be washed using soap and water then dried with a clean towel that is dedicated for your personal use only.

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Food shopping

Do not go shopping while you are in isolation. Arrange for food and essential items to be dropped off at your door by family or friends, or use online shopping services offered by many supermarkets. Ensure you ask for items/food to be delivered in disposable bags and left at your door.

Other options may include ordering food from restaurants or services that can provide home delivery.

Do not interact face-to-face with people delivering your items or food.

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Accessing medicines

If you need medicines (including prescription medicines), ask a family member or friend (who is not in isolation) to deliver them to your home.

Some pharmacies offer a home delivery service. To prevent exposing other people, make sure you wear a mask when receiving a delivery and maintain a 1.5 metre distance, or have them left at your door.

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Taking care of your health and wellbeing

Being in isolation can be stressful and/or boring. Some suggestions to take care of your health and wellbeing include:

  • Keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media.
  • Reassure young children using age-appropriate language.
  • Where possible, keep up normal daily routines that you can do while in your room, such as eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of fluids and in-room exercise if you do not have a backyard.
  • If you don’t have a backyard, consider finding an exercise or yoga video online (e.g. YouTube).
  • Arrange to work from home if this option is available to you.
  • Ask your child’s school to supply assignments or homework by post or e-mail.
  • Do things that help you relax and use isolation as an opportunity to do activities you don’t usually have time for.

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Mental health support

Contact one of the services below for support, or talk to your general practitioner (GP).

  • Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
  • Regional Access Program (country areas) 24/7: 1300 032 186
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551800
  • Youth Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
  • Lived Experience Telephone Support Service (LETSS): 1800 013 755

See the Mental Health information for people in home isolation fact sheet (PDF 325KB) for more information and support on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 for people in home isolation. 

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Social support

If you need support while in self-isolation (for example, you are unable to get your own groceries or medications) please contact (08) 8425 9200 and select option 3.

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Once the isolation period is over

Once you have self-isolated for 14 days and are symptom free, you no longer need to self-isolate. You do not need to get a clearance certificate.

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Translated information

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Further information

South Australia COVID-19 Information Line (8am to 8pm, seven days): 1800 253 787

Translating or interpreting services: 131 450

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