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If you have travelled from mainland China or Iran, or been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, special restrictions apply.
Who needs to isolate?
To help limit the spread of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself in the following circumstances:
- If you have left, or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of leaving mainland China.
- If you have left, or transited through Iran on or after 1 March, you must isolate yourself until 14 days after leaving Iran.
- If you have been in close contact with a proven case of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of last contact with the confirmed case.
Stay at home or in your hotel
When travelling home or to your hotel to start isolation use personal transport, such as a car, to minimise exposure to others. If you need to use public transport (e.g. taxis, ride-hail services, trains, buses and trams), follow the precautions outlined in the public transport guide at https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-information-for-drivers-and-passengers-using-public-transport
During the 14 days of isolation, you stay at home or in your hotel and don’t go to public places including work, school, childcare, university or public gatherings. Only people who usually live with you should be in the home. Do not see visitors. If you are in a hotel, avoid contact with other guests or staff.
If you are well, there is no need to wear surgical masks at home. Ask others who are not in isolation to get food and necessities for you. If you must leave home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask. If you don’t have a mask, take care to not cough or sneeze on others. For more information about when to wear a mask, visit: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-information-on-the-use-of-surgical-masks
When in isolation, monitor yourself for symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath. Other early symptoms include chills, body aches, sore throat, runny nose and muscle pain.
What do I do if I get sick?
If you develop mild symptoms:
- Isolate yourself from others at home and use a separate bathroom if available
- Put on a surgical mask and if you don’t have one, practise good sneeze/cough hygiene
- Practise good hand hygiene
- Call a doctor or hospital and tell them your recent travel or close contact history.
If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing:
- Call 000, ask for an ambulance and notify the officers of your recent travel or close contact history.
Practising good hand hygiene and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
- wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
- cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- and if unwell, avoid contact with others (touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
If you live in a private house, it is safe for you to go into your garden or courtyard. If you live in an apartment or are staying in a hotel, it is also safe for you to visit the garden but you should wear a surgical mask to minimise risk to others and move quickly through any common areas.
Advice for others living with you
Others that live with you are not required to be isolated unless they meet one of the isolation criteria outlined above. If you develop symptoms and are suspected to have novel coronavirus, they will be classified as close contacts and will need to be isolated.
To minimise the spread of any germs you should regularly wash surfaces that are frequently touched such as door handles, light switches, kitchen and bathroom areas. Clean with household detergent or disinfectant.
Managing the 14 day isolation
Being in isolation can be stressful and boring. Suggestions include:
- Keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media.
- Learn about coronavirus and talk with others.
- Reassure young children using age-appropriate language.
- Where possible, keep up normal daily routines, such as eating and exercise.
- Arrange to work from home.
- Ask your child’s school to supply assignments or homework by post or email.
- Do things that help you relax and use isolation as an opportunity to do activities you don’t usually have time for.
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts
If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.