Current as of April 20, 2022

The following changes to NSW's COVID-19 restrictions will come into effect from 6pm, Friday April 22:

  • Hotel quarantine will cease for unvaccinated international returning travellers from April 30 onwards.

Information if you're a close contact:

  • Household contacts do not have to isolate, but they must have no symptoms, cannot visit high-risk venues such as hospitals and aged care settings, and must wear a face mask indoors when outside of home.

  • Household contacts and close contacts must also undertake daily RATs and work from home where they can.

  • No changes for positive cases, who are still required to complete seven days of isolation.


Restrictions eased:

  • Face masks will only be required on public transport and public transport waiting areas, planes, and indoors at airports, public hospitals, private health facilities, residential aged care facilities or hostels and indoor music festivals with more than 1000 people.

  • The 20,000 person cap on music festivals will be removed.

  • Singing and dancing will be permitted at all venues.

  • Vaccination requirements will remain for indoor music festivals over 1000 people.

Close contact and isolation rules

The Australian government recognises you as a close contact if you:

  • Have spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID-19 inside a house, accommodation or care facility.

  • Are determined as one by your state or territory health department.

If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, you are required to monitor for symptoms, undertake a daily RAT, and wear a face mask in indoor settings. If you start feeling symptoms, take a RAT immediately and isolate.

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

  • Self-isolate for seven days.

  • Get tested on Day 1 of quarantine (or as soon as possible) and get tested again on day six of self-isolation - with a rapid antigen test, or a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test.

  • If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you must report your result. Visit the reporting your result page for more information.

  • Tell people you live with that you have COVID-19. Your household contacts must then also self-isolate for seven days, and have a rapid antigen test (RAT) as soon as possible and again on day six.

  • Tell your social contacts you've tested positive.

  • Tell your workplace or educational facility you've tested positive.

You can leave self-isolation seven days from the day of your positive test if you do not have a sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath.

If you had a PCR test or you have registered your positive rapid antigen test, you will receive an SMS from NSW Health, but you do not have to wait for this SMS to leave self-isolation if it has been 7 days since you were tested.

If you still have symptoms seven days after your positive test, remain in isolation until your symptoms have resolved.

Critical worker self-isolation exemption

Some critical workers who are close contacts are permitted to leave self-isolation to attend work, only if they have no COVID-19 symptoms. A worker will only be eligible for the exemption if their employer determines that:

  • Their absence from the workplace poses a high risk of disruption to the delivery of critical services or activities; and

  • They are unable to work from home.

The exemption is subject to the following conditions:

  • Critical workers must only attend work if approved by or on behalf of their employer for the purpose of the exemption.

  • Critical workers must travel directly to and from their home and their workplace(s). They cannot leave home for other purposes.

  • Critical workers must wear a mask at all times in the workplace, unless eating or drinking or if the mask needs to be removed for safety reasons.

  • Critical workers must undergo regular Rapid Antigen Tests for a period of 7 days from when they last had contact with the diagnosed person, and must notify their employer of each result.

  • Any person who tests positive for COVID-19 following a RAT must immediately self-isolate for 7 days.

  • Notwithstanding a negative RAT result, if a critical worker develops any symptoms of COVID-19, they must immediately self-isolate and may only return to work with evidence of a negative PCR test taken after the onset of symptoms.

  • Critical workers must comply with any other reasonable measures put in place by their employer to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 (see below).

Read more: Critical worker self-isolation exemption guidance

Rapid Antigen Testing and reporting

If you have any symptoms, you should stay at home and test. The supply of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) is expected to improve. In the meantime you might find the following website useful: findarat.com.au

If you receive a positive rapid antigen test, you should consider yourself to be a positive case and should isolate for 7 days. You are required to report your case to NSW health via Service NSW.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID and are not symptomatic at the end of your isolation period, then you are not required to self-isolate again if another member of your household tests positive.

Read more: What to do if you test positive for COVID-19.

For more information:


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