What to do if you are a COVID-19 Contact

What type of contact are you?

There are different types of contacts and different rules apply. Make sure you follow the right advice for your situation. See more information on this page. 

Household or household-like contacts

  • You have spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID-19 inside a house, accommodation or care facility.
  • You must quarantine for 7 days. 
  • You must get tested on Day 1 of quarantine (or as soon as possible) and get tested again on Day 6 of quarantine – 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

All other contacts

  • Someone who has COVID-19 has informed you that you are their social contact, or a workplace or education facility has informed you that you are a workplace or education contact. 
  • If you have symptoms, you must use a rapid antigen test, or get a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test.
  • If you don’t have symptoms, you are recommended to use a daily rapid antigen test for 5 days.  
  • If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you must report your result
  • If you don’t have symptoms and cannot access a rapid antigen test then monitor for symptoms and get tested if symptoms emerge. 

Checklist for household or household-like contacts

  • You must immediately quarantine at your home for 7 days (e.g. from a Monday to the following Monday).

    Your quarantine period:

    • If you are staying in the same home as the person who has COVID-19, your quarantine period starts from the date they got tested (and subsequently returned a positive result) for 7 days.
    • If you are not staying in the same home as the person who has COVID-19, your quarantine period starts from the day you last saw them for 7 days.
    • This is a legal requirement. Fines may apply if you don’t quarantine.

    While you are in quarantine:

    • You can’t leave your house (unless to get tested, medical supplies or treatment, or in an emergency including family violence, fire or flood). You can leave isolation to take someone you live with to or from hospital.
    • If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, isolate from them as much as possible.
    • See Isolation and quarantine – support and emergency relief for information on how to get money, food and other support while in isolation or quarantine.

    See the table below for how long you have to quarantine:

    Situation: Quarantine: Testing:
    Positive case 7 days after the date you took the COVID-19 test which confirmed you had COVID-19 No testing requirements once you are diagnosed
    Household or household-like contact (staying with case) 7 days from the date the case took the COVID-19 test which confirmed they had COVID-19

    Get tested on on Day 1 (or as soon as possible).

    Get tested again on Day 6 of your quarantine period.

    For these tests, use a rapid antigen test or get a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test.

    Household or household-like contact (not staying with case) 7 days from the date when you were in contact with the case As above.

    The simplest way to think about the day you can leave quarantine is that it’s the same day the following week (e.g. Monday to Monday).

You must get tested:

  • on Day 1 of your quarantine period (or as soon as possible) with:
    • a rapid antigen test, or a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test.
  • on Day 6 of your quarantine period with:
    • a rapid antigen test, or a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test.

It’s important to remember:

  • If you get symptoms at any time during quarantine, you must get 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
  • You are also strongly recommended to use rapid antigen tests on other days of your quarantine period.

While you are in quarantine – after you’ve had your first test but before you have your final test – keep monitoring for symptoms.

  • Test again if symptoms develop.
  • Call a doctor if symptoms worsen, or Nurse On Call on 1300 606 024 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Go to hospital if it’s an emergency – but let them know you’re in quarantine.

While you are quarantining, you can’t leave your house for any reason except to get tested, get medical supplies, or in an emergency (including family violence, fire or flood).

  • In order to be released from quarantine, you need to get another test on Day 6 of your quarantine period.

    See the table below for getting this Day 6 test, which enables your release from quarantine if you get a negative result.

    Situation What test type Once you get a negative result
    Household or household-like contact Rapid antigen test on Day 6 of quarantine period. If you cannot access a rapid antigen test, seek a PCR test. Leave quarantine on Day 7 if you received a negative result, no earlier

    If you test negative:

    • You can release yourself from quarantine on Day 7 after receiving your negative result, but no earlier. You don’t need to wait for the Department to tell you that you are released.

    If you test positive on a PCR test:

    • You are a confirmed case and need to follow the checklist for cases. The Department will contact you.

    If you test positive on rapid antigen test:

    If you don’t receive a negative result by the end of your quarantine period:

    • You must stay in quarantine until the negative result is received.

Checklist for all other contacts

  • Someone who has COVID-19 has informed you that you are a social contact, or a workplace/education facility has informed you that you are a workplace/education contact.

    This means you spent time with a confirmed case while they were infectious with COVID-19 and you may now have the virus.

    Testing:

    • If you have symptoms, you must use a rapid antigen test, or get a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test.
    • If you don’t have symptoms, you are strongly recommended to use a daily rapid antigen test for 5 days.

    If you test negative on the PCR or the rapid antigen tests:

    • Resume your normal activities.
    • Keep monitoring for symptoms and get tested again if any develop.

    If you test positive on a PCR test:

    If you test positive on a rapid antigen test:

  • You should always get tested as soon as you notice COVID-19 symptoms.

    If any develop, use a rapid antigen test, or a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test.

    Stay COVIDSafe at all times by keeping 1.5m distance, sanitising your hands and wearing masks when you are required to.

    No one else in your household or social group has to get tested if they aren’t contacts and don’t have symptoms.


SOURCE AND FURTHER UPDATES: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/
Last Updated: 8th January 2022

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