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

Download this page as a fact sheet: Self-Isolation and Self-Quarantine Advice (PDF 250KB)

For information on testing visit the Testing for COVID-19 page.

Who needs to be in self-quarantine or self-isolation?

People waiting for their COVID-19 test result

After a person has had a COVID-19 test, they must stay in self-quarantine/self-isolation until they receive a negative result if they have symptoms or if they are required to under a Direction.

People who have been directed to self-quarantine must remain in quarantine until the end date provided by SA Health, even if they receive a negative test result.

Close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case

People who have been advised they are a close contact or a casual contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case must stay in self-quarantine until the date provided to them by COVID Operations at SA Health.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19

A person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (and doesn’t need to be in hospital) must stay in self-isolation until they are cleared by SA Health to leave self-isolation. Note self- isolation may be required to be carried out in a medi-hotel, or sometimes if approved, in your home or another suitable location, separate from other people.

Arriving from overseas

Arrivals into Australia are quarantined in their port of arrival in supervised accommodation for 14 days. For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs COVID-19 page.

Arriving from Interstate

If you are travelling to South Australia from interstate you must complete a cross border pre-approval form at least 14 days prior to arrival.

Some health exemptions to enter SA may stipulate certain requirements in addition to those below, as a condition of entry (e.g. you must quarantine away from others, separate bathrooms essential etc).

Keep up-to-date with the latest information on South Australia’s border restrictions on the SA.GOV.AU Travel Restrictions page.

How is this being monitored and enforced?

SA Police will be undertaking periodic checks on people in mandated self-quarantine or self-isolation to ensure they are complying.

How to self-isolate / self-quarantine

  • If you have been directed to self-quarantine/self-isolate or if you have had a COVID-19 test you must go directly home and not stop anywhere on the way.
  • You must stay at a suitable place and not leave unless you need to seek urgent medical care or to have a COVID-19 test. If you must leave for these reasons, wear a surgical mask and notify the medical care centre or testing site you are going to attend.
  • You must not leave your home / place of self-isolation/self-quarantine. This means you must not go to public places such as work, school, childcare, university, shopping centres, parks, social or religious gatherings.
  • You must not go shopping or to restaurants – shop online or have family or friends deliver what you need to your door. Do not open the door until the person making the delivery has left.
  • You must not have visitors at your home.

Where to self-isolate / self-quarantine

You must directly travel to your place of self-quarantine/self-isolation.

You must ensure no one else enters or stays at the place you are self-quarantining unless:

  • they usually live there and you need to provide care/support to them, or receive care/support from them, or
  • they are also self-quarantining/self-isolation, or
  • your house is appropriately set up so you do not have contact with other people, as outlined in the ‘Living with other people’ section below.

Because we need to minimise the number of people you are in contact with, you may need to make arrangements for yourself or other household members to stay somewhere else.

The SA COVID-19 Information Line can provide information on self-quarantine requirements and can assist with the facilitation of emergency accommodation for those required to self-quarantine but unable to do so at home.

The COVID-19 Information Line is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm every day on 1800 253 787.

Living with other people

SA Health or SA Police will advise if people who usually live in your household also need to self-quarantine.

If others who live with you are not required to self-quarantine or self-isolate, you must follow the below instructions to ensure you do not have any contact with others who live with you.

Do not have physical contact with people, including those who are living in the same home with you. You must not be in the same room as other people in the home.

Any areas that you touch must be cleaned using detergent and disinfectant (i.e. combined detergent/disinfectant wipes).

Room accommodation

Stay alone in your own bedroom with the door closed.

  • If you must leave your room (e.g. to go to the bathroom), prior to leaving your bedroom:
    • Ask other members in the house to move to a room where you won’t be accessing or passing through.
    • Put on your mask and clean your hands using hand sanitiser before leaving your room and avoid touching surfaces or items unnecessarily.
    • Move as quickly as possible through the areas between your room and the bathroom.
  • Avoid coughing, sneezing, shouting, or yelling if possible while moving through the areas outside your room.
  • Keep your door closed at all times and avoid the use of fans that may force air from your room out into the rest of the house.
  • You can open your window for fresh air, however, ensure the window is closed before opening your door.
  • If you need to collect items from outside your bedroom door, you must wear a mask and wait for the person to move away from the door before collecting your items.
  • Avoid sharing any household items with others in your house. If this occurs, the item must be cleaned after use.
  • Regularly clean frequently touched items with a detergent or disinfectant (eg. television remotes, door knobs, light switches, bench tops). Use disposable paper towel or disposable wipes or cloths.


  • Use a dedicated bathroom and toilet (e.g. ensuite bathroom) if available and your own personal towels and personal grooming items.
  • If you have only one toilet or bathroom in your home and therefore need to share a toilet or bathroom adhere to the following:
    • While using the bathroom or toilet, use the exhaust fan (if you have one) and open a window (where possible). Close the door while in the bathroom.
    • Use your own towels and personal grooming items and take these back to your room once you have finished using the bathroom.
    • Close the toilet lid when flushing the toilet and wash your hands.
    • Use the bathroom last. If this is not possible, clean the bathroom and toilet immediately after use and ask other household members to wait 30 minutes before they use it.
    • Clean the bathroom or toilet after use with detergent and disinfectant and use a disposable or launderable cloth and clean your hands.


  • Wash clothes and bed linen using a hot wash cycle.
  • After using the laundry ensure the area is cleaned and disinfected.
  • If other household members do your washing, place your dirty clothes/linen into a plastic bag. Tie it off and leave outside your door. The person doing the washing should wear gloves and a mask when removing the dirty washing and placing into the washing machine.
  • Do not shake the linen or items being washed and avoid unnecessary handling – try to tip the washing bag contents directly into the washing machine. Avoid contamination of clothing by holding the washing bag away from your body.
  • Hands must be cleaned after handling dirty washing.
  • Washed clothes should either be dried in the dryer or put on a clothes line to dry.

Kitchen and food preparation

  • You should avoid using the kitchen if possible and eat your meals in your room alone.
  • Plates and cutlery must be washed in the dishwasher or washed well in hot soapy water.
  • If you need to use the kitchen and there are other people in the house:
    • Ensure there are no other household members in the kitchen or in rooms you need to pass through to reach the kitchen.
    • Wear a mask and clean your hands after being in the kitchen, preparing any food or doing any dishes.
    • Clean all surfaces that you touched.


You should not be travelling when you are in self-isolation/self-quarantine. You need to stay at home, except in an emergency situation (including a health emergency) or to get a COVID-19 test.

If you need to travel, use a personal mode of transport, such as a car, to minimise exposure to others.

If your only option is to be driven by a member of your household or you have no other mode of transport and are using public transport:

  • Avoid using the bus. Use a taxi or Uber (if possible).
  • You must wear a mask.
  • Stay at least 1.5 metres from other people (sit in the back of the car with the windows open).
  • Perform hand hygiene e.g. wash/sanitise your hands frequently.

Monitor your symptoms

If people who live with you develop symptoms, they must self-isolate immediately and seek testing and medical advice.

If you are in self-quarantine/self-isolation, monitor yourself for symptoms including:

  • fever (a temperature of 37.5˚C or higher) or chills
  • cough
  • loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • tiredness (fatigue)
  • runny or blocked nose
  • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • headache
  • muscle or joint pain
  • loss of appetite

The COVID Operations team at SA Health may also contact you to monitor for symptoms.

If you or someone in your household develops symptoms while in self-quarantine, call COVID Operations on 1300 232 272 and tell them that you are in quarantine for COVID-19 and that you have developed symptoms. Follow their instructions. COVID Operations may be able to organise for a nurse (domiciliary service) to come to your house to take a COVID-19 test or provide instructions on how to get a test.

If you are unsure what to do, call COVID Operations or the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 000 (Triple Zero), ask for an ambulance – tell them you are in self-isolation or self-quarantine because of COVID-19.

If you are in self-isolation because you have tested positive for COVID-19, SA Health will also monitor your symptoms through a medical assessment team. If you develop serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 000 (Triple Zero), ask for an ambulance – tell them you are in isolation because of COVID-19.

Going outside

You can go into your private garden or courtyard by yourself. A mask must be worn while moving between your room and the outside space, if other people live in the household.

If you live in an apartment, hotel or shared lodgings, you can use the balcony if there is one available as part of your flat / apartment, however, do not go into common areas that other people use.

Do not go to public parks or shared gardens.

Primary producers

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

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.)


Regularly clean objects and surfaces that are frequently touched, such as benchtops, tabletops, bedside tables, phones, computer keyboards, door handles, light switches, and kitchen and bathroom areas.

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

Read labels of cleaning products and follow the instructions for use. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product. They also include precautions you should take when applying the product.

The disinfectant you use should say on the label it is hospital-grade that kills viruses. You can also use a chlorine-based product such as bleach.

Rubbish and waste

Dispose of used personal items such as tissues, disposable masks, gloves, and other contaminated items in a rubbish bin lined with a plastic bag inside your room.

Tie-off/close the plastic bag and dispose of the bag into the general household waste bin (not recycling).

After handling and disposal of waste, wash hands thoroughly.


Do not go shopping. Arrange for food and essential items to be dropped off at your door by family or friends, or use online shopping services.

You can order food from home delivery services. Most major supermarkets offer a delivery service for people in quarantine/isolation.

Do not interact face-to-face with people delivering your items or food. Ask for deliveries to be left at your door. Wear a face mask and do not open your door until they have left.

If you have touched the outside of the door, wipe it over with detergent and disinfectant.

Accessing medicines

If you need medicines (including prescription medicines), ask a family member or friend to deliver them to your home and to leave at your door.

Some pharmacies offer a home delivery service. Ask for deliveries to be left at your door.

Taking care of your health and wellbeing

Being in self-isolation/self-quarantine may be stressful, frustrating and boring. Family and friends can also experience similar impacts to their mental health and wellbeing.

There are some things that you can do to look after yourself during this time:

  • Keep up your daily routine as much as possible, such as keeping your regular sleeping hours, eating healthy foods, and drinking enough water.
  • Stay connected with family and friends via telephone or online (e.g. Skype, Facetime).
  • Consider finding an exercise or yoga video online (e.g. YouTube).
  • Avoid over-indulging in alcohol or comfort foods.
  • Arrange to work from home if this option is available to you.
  • Ask your child’s school to supply assignments or homework by e-mail.
  • Do things that help you relax and use isolation as an opportunity to do activities you don’t usually have time for.
  • Be aware of overexposure to news sources and social media. Keeping informed can be helpful, but repeated bulletins about COVID-19 may be overwhelming.
  • Be aware that you may experience changes in your mood or feelings, including periods of sadness, anxiety, frustration or uncertainty. If these feelings become severe or are not going away, please seek help. Internet or phone based supports are available (see next page).
  • Visit Open Your World website for information and resources to look after your wellbeing at home.

Financial and hardship support

Housing support and advice

The SA COVID-19 Information Line can provide information on self-quarantine requirements and can assist with the facilitation of emergency accommodation for those required to self-quarantine but unable to do so at home.

The COVID-19 Information Line is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm every day on 1800 253 787.

Financial support

Information on financial support available to South Australians is available at

Mental health support

It’s normal to feel stress or worry when being tested for COVID-19, and when in isolation or quarantine. Family and friends can also experience similar mental health impacts.

For urgent assistance, contact the Mental Health Triage Service (24/7) on 13 14 65.

Visit the COVID-19 Mental Health Support page for a range of support services and other resources for adults, children, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Finishing your self-isolation/self-quarantine period

If you are in self-isolation because you have had a COVID-19 test, you can leave self-isolation once you receive a negative result. However, you should avoid contact with others while you are unwell.

If you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or directed to self-quarantine by SA Health, you are still required to remain in self-quarantine until the end of your designated quarantine period as advised by SA Health, even if you return a negative test result.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 you are required to remain in self-isolation until the date advised by SA Health, even if you feel well.

What is the difference between self-isolation and self-quarantine?

These terms may be used under legal requirements under the Emergency Management Act, and you may be directed to remain isolated or quarantined by SA Health or SA Police.

Isolation / self-isolation

When a person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19 (and doesn’t need to be in hospital), including a person who is waiting for test results, they must stay in self-isolation.

Quarantine / self-quarantine

When a person is not sick but is required to stay away from others due to a risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as being determined by SA Health to be a close contact or a person returning from overseas travel, they must stay in self-quarantine.

Translated information

For COVID-19 posters, fact sheets, videos and audio resources in languages other than English, visit the translated resources page.

Translating or interpreting services: 131 450

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