Information current as of October 11, 2022

The Australian and state governments have updated the definition of close contact. You are now a close contact if you:

  • Live in the same house as someone who tests positive

  • Spent 4 hours or longer with someone in a home, or health or aged care environment; or

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

What happens if I’m a close contact?

If someone you live in a household (or household-like arrangement such as a care facility) tests positive for COVID, you will be identified as a close contact. As soon as you find out, you must be tested, either at your nearest free testing facility or by testing at home using a rapid antigen test, and follow the close contact rules of the state or territory you are in.

A close contact who returns a negative test is not required to isolate but you must monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, immediately self-isolate and get tested.

As the COVID-19 rules and restrictions vary depending on which state or territory you live in, we've outlined the important things you need to know regarding close contacts and isolation for each state and territory.

What are Australia's isolation rules?

Mandatory five-day isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19 will end from October 14, 2022, onwards.

This means that whoever tests positive for the virus will no longer have to isolate for five days (although it is still recommended to still isolate for at least a week). The exception to this rule change is for people who work in high-risk settings. They are not allowed to return to work for five days after testing positive.

From October 14, 2022, onwards, most workers will not have access to pandemic leave payments. However, financial support for casual workers in aged care, disability care, Aboriginal health care, and hospital care will continue under this new change.

How this rule change will be implemented will be determined by each state and territory, so head over to each respective website for more information:


If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Information sourced from: ABC and The Guardian

Image credit: Kate Trifo on Pexels

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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