Who is a close contact?

In South Australia a ‘close contact’ is defined as someone who is one of the following:

  • a household member or intimate partner of a person with COVID-19 during their infectious period
  • has had close personal interaction with a person with COVID-19 for a cumulative period of 4 hours or more during their infectious period:
    • where masks are not worn by the person and the COVID-19 case and
    • in close physical proximity (within 1.5 metres) and
    • in an indoor setting
  • has been notified by SA Health that they are a close contact.

People with COVID-19 are considered infectious two days before their symptoms started or if they didn’t have any noticeable symptoms, they are considered infectious two days before they had their positive COVID-19 test taken. 

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get a PCR test as soon as possible.

What does a close contact need to do?

If you are a close contact, you must:

  • wear a mask when you leave the house for 7 days after your exposure date (12 years and older)
  • undertake 5 rapid antigen tests over the 7 days after your exposure date (with at least 24 hours between tests and one test on day 7)
  • report your rapid antigen test results if you test positive
  • not attend Tier 1 or Tier 2 sensitive settings for 7 days after exposure date, except for the purposes of obtaining medical care or medical supplies, or except if you are an emergency services worker attending to respond to an emergency
  • notify your employer or school or early childcare settings that you are a close contact.

In addition to the above mandatory requirements, it is strongly recommended you:

  • avoid non-essential gatherings for 7 days after your exposure date
  • avoid contact with people at risk of severe illness for 7 days after your exposure date
  • work from home where possible
  • report your rapid antigen test results even if you test negative
  • notify healthcare and high risk setting prior to arrival for, medical care or medical supplies

If you are quarantining with other people, you do not need to restart the above requirements each time another person in the house tests positive.

Terms used on this page

Tier 1 sensitive settings means the following settings:

  • a residential aged care facility
  • a disability care facility
  • a residential prison or correctional facility, training centre or other place of residential custody (other than short-term holding facilities)
  • a public or private hospital

Tier 2 sensitive settings include:

  • healthcare services other than those provided in Tier 1 sensitive settings
  • general practice
  • medical specialist services and practices
  • community health services including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services
  • dental services
  • pharmacies
  • pathology collection centres
  • mental health services and practices including drug and alcohol services
  • allied health services, including those provided by a counsellor, speech pathologist, sonographer, social worker, rehabilitation counsellor, radiation therapist, radiographer, psychologist, prosthetist / orthotist, podiatrist, physiotherapist, music therapist, osteopath, orthoptist, optometrist, occupational therapist, genetic counsellor, exercise physiologist, dietitian, counsellor, chiropractor, audiologist, art/creative art therapist, or bowen therapist
  • complementary and alternative therapy services and practices including Chinese medicine practitioners
  • reproductive services and sexual health services including termination of pregnancy
  • radiology services including screening services
  • disability and rehabilitation services.

Close contacts who work in Tier 1 and 2 sensitive sites can find more information on the Test, Trace, Isolate and Quarantine page.

Your exposure date is:

  • the date you were last in contact with a COVID-19 case
  • if you are a household member of a COVID-19 case, the date the COVID-19 case first tested positive to COVID-19

Wear a mask means a single use surgical mask.

Masks do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:

  • Due to Relevant and Significant medical condition
  • Where ability to see mouth is essential for communication
  • Where removal is required for lawful identification purposes
  • When eating or drinking (although this should be minimised in public places)
  • When under 12 years

Non-essential gatherings include but are not exclusive of:

  • Weddings and other large family gatherings/events
  • COVID Management Plan events
  • Concerts, music festivals and other indoor entertainment
  • Restaurants, hotels, pubs and nightclubs
  • Attending the gym and indoor sport
  • Conference and professional development not essential for work

What kind of COVID-19 test should I have?

If you have no COVID-19 symptoms

If you are a close contact with no COVID-19 symptoms, you must use 5 rapid antigen tests over the 7 days after your exposure date. You must leave at least 24 hours between tests and complete a test on day 7.

You can register to collect free rapid antigen tests to complete your required tests from the RAT Collection Points.

If you can’t access a RAT Collection Point or don’t feel comfortable using a rapid antigen test, you can get a PCR test on day 1 and 6 after exposure.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms at any time while in quarantine, get a COVID-19 PCR test as soon as possible.

Find out more information about reporting your result and what your result means on the rapid antigen testing page.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms

If you are a close contact with COVID-19 symptoms, you must get a PCR test as soon as possible and quarantine until you receive a result.

If your result is negative, you must continue to follow the close contact guidelines.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and test negative using a rapid antigen test, you need to get a PCR test to confirm your result.

What if I test positive and have COVID-19?

If you test positive to COVID-19, you must:

  • isolate for 5 days from the day your positive test was taken.
  • notify your close contacts that you have tested positive.

If you test positive using a rapid antigen test, you must report your result within 24 hours using the online form.

If you get a PCR test and receive a positive COVID-19 test result, you will receive your result by a text message from SA Health and/or the laboratory.

If you test positive, you do not need to get your remaining required COVID-19 tests.

Read more information about your positive result, include how to isolate on the testing positive to COVID-19 page.

What if I have already had COVID-19 and I am notified I am a close contact?

If you have previously tested positive to COVID-19, you will not be considered a close contact for 28 days after your release from isolation.

After 28 days, you will be considered a close contact if you are re-exposed to COVID-19 and meet the close contact definition. You will need to follow the close contact guidelines.

What do people in my household need to do?

If you are a close contact, people in your household should monitor for symptoms and get a PCR test if they develop, no matter how mild. If they develop symptoms they must quarantine until they receive their negative COVID-19 result.

Read the frequently asked questions for more information on close contact requirements.