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Self-isolation and mandatory quarantine

What to do when you have returned from overseas travel, been diagnosed with COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

When you have to stay at home

You must self-isolate if you have:

  • been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • are suspected of having COVID-19
  • had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case
  • travelled overseas in the 14 days before 29 March 2020.

You can't have visitors when you self-isolate

You must not have any people visit you when you are self-isolating unless they:

  • usually live at that premises
  • are also self-isolating
  • enter the premises for medical purposes
  • enter the premises because of an emergency.

Penalties apply

Not complying with the Self-Isolation Order or the Quarantine Order is also a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties, including imprisonment. 

Current alerts

Important information from NSW Police

NSW Police is urging the families and friends of travellers returning to Sydney International Airport not to come to the airport to greet those travellers as they will not be able to see them or physically communicate with them upon their arrival.

For family and friends of overseas travellers returning to Sydney

Quarantine order for overseas travellers arriving in NSW

Issued on 28 March 2020

Under public health orders issued by the Minister for Health and Medical Research, people who arrive in Australia by aircraft from overseas or by vessel from another port outside of NSW must enter into a quarantine arrangement for 14 days as directed by NSW Police. 

For more information refer to the 

When you have to self-isolate

You must self-isolate if you have:

Flight crews

Flight crews who arrive in NSW from overseas must self-isolate in their accommodation until their next work flight out of Australia. 

How to self-isolate

If you are required to self-isolate, then you must comply with the NSW Health Self Isolation Guidelines or the NSW Health Self-Isolation Guidelines for Persons with COVID-19 during your self-isolation and stay in self-isolation for the number of days required.

If you

  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must self-isolate until a doctor or public health unit tells you that you no longer have the virus
  • are suspected of having COVID-19, you must self-isolate until you receive a negative test result, and if your test result is positive, you must comply with the self-isolation requirements for confirmed cases
  • had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, you must self-isolate for 14 days after you last saw the person
  • get tested for COVID-19 and the result is negative, you still need to remain in isolation until the end of the 14 days
  • returned from overseas 14 days before 29 March 2020, your self-isolation begins on the day you arrived in NSW and ends at midnight on day 14 after your arrival
  • returned from overseas on or after 29 March 2020, your quarantine begins when you arrive in NSW, and ends at midnight on day 14 after that arrival.

Getting to where you will self-isolate

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, an authorised health worker will determine whether you can remain at the place where you are self-isolating or may direct you to a hospital for further assessment.

If you have arrived in NSW from overseas, you will be transported from the airport to a designated accommodation facility for quarantine.

Closely follow all NSW Health advice about social distancing and personal hygiene to minimise the risk of spreading the disease.

Remain separated from people living in your home while you self-isolate

Other people who usually live at the place where you are staying during your self-isolation can continue to do so.

Follow all advice from NSW Health, including about remaining separated from others as much as possible if you are sharing your home with other people.

If you are self-isolating, you should wear a surgical mask in the presence of other household members if masks are available, even if the other people are also in isolation.

Family and other people you live with do not have to self-isolate. However, you should:

  • remain separated from other household members
  • wear a surgical mask (if available) when you are in the same room as another person
  • use a separate bathroom (if available)
  • avoid shared or communal areas and wear a surgical mask (if available) when moving through these areas.

Do not share a room with people who are at risk of severe diseases, such as:

  • elderly people
  • people with chronic health conditions.

The people that you live with should follow NSW Health advice as to whether they also need to self-isolate.

No visitors when you self-isolate

You must not have any people visit you when you are self-isolating unless they:

  • usually live at that premises
  • are also self-isolating
  • enter the premises for medical purposes
  • enter the premises because of an emergency.

How to report someone who is not self-isolating

Report any person failing to follow these rules to NSW Police.

NSW Police may issue a penalty notice of $1000 to someone who is not complying with the Self-Isolation Order or the Quarantine Order .

Not following these rules is also a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties.

  • Individuals: the maximum court imposable penalty is $11,000, or imprisonment for 6 months, or both with a further $5500 for each day the offence continues.
  • Corporation: the maximum court imposable penalty is $55,000 with a further $27,500 for each day the offence continues.

Leaving self-isolation 


Following 14 days of isolation, if you feel well – and continue to feel well – you do not need to be tested before you are released from isolation.

If you develop any breathing difficulty (shortness of breath) or fever during the isolation period, you must be assessed and tested for COVID-19.

If your test result shows you do not have COVID-19, you will remain in isolation until the original 14-day isolation period expires.

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