COVID-19 update: Changes to self-isolation rules
If a person in your household tests positive to COVID-19, they must self-isolate away from everyone else in the house for 7 days from the date of their positive test and follow the advice for people testing positive to COVID-19.
The entire household must also self-isolate for 7 days from the date of the positive person’s test. They should follow the advice for people exposed to COVID-19 and take a test as soon as possible, on Day 6 and at any time COVID-19 symptoms appear.
If another person in your household tests positive to COVID-19, that person must restart their 7-day self-isolation period from the date of their positive test, even if they don’t have any symptoms.
Other household members who test negative, do not need to re-start their 7 day self-isolation period. They also do not have to self-isolate again anytime in the following 14 days unless they test positive.
People who test positive to COVID-19 and complete their 7-day self-isolation period do not have to test or self-isolate as any type of contact for 12 weeks after their release
Release from self-isolation
When you test positive to COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 7 days from the day you were tested. You can leave self-isolation after 7 days only 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 a text message from NSW Health, but you do not have to wait for this text message to leave self-isolation if it has been 7 days since you were tested.
The text message from NSW Health will have a link to your Medical Clearance Notice. Do not delete this text message. Click the link and download your medical clearance notice. You may be asked to provide evidence of release from self-isolation by your employer, education facility or if travelling internationally.
COVID-19 testing at home
Rapid antigen tests are a quick and easy way to detect COVID-19. Most people can do a rapid antigen test at home and don’t need to have a PCR (nose and throat swab) test unless advised by a doctor.
If you’re at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, NSW Health recommends you to get a PCR (nose and throat swab) test at a testing clinic when required, as they are more accurate. There are treatments available that can only be prescribed in the early stages of infection.
If you test positive using a COVID-19 rapid antigen test, you must register your result with Service NSW as soon as possible. This is so you can be linked to important health care support and advice based on your COVID-19 risk.
If you or someone in your family can’t register online, please call Service NSW on 13 77 88. For free help in your language, you can also call Translating and Interpreting Services on 13 14 50 and ask them to contact us on 13 77 88. The service provides immediate phone interpreting.
You do not need to register a negative or invalid test result.
Videos in Languages
Watch the video to learn how to use a rapid antigen test safely at home in these languages:
Cantonese, Dari, English, Hindi, Korean, Lao, Mandarin, Sinhalese, Spanish, Tamil, Vietnamese & Wikang Tagalog Filipino
Managing COVID-19 at home and caring for children
If you test positive to COVID-19, find out your next steps and how you can look after your illness at home.
- If you are under 60 years of age, are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, do not suffer from any chronic health conditions and are not pregnant, you can safely manage COVID-19 at home. Most symptoms can be managed with bed rest, paracetamol, using throat lozenges and staying hydrated.
- Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms and will recover in a few days or so, with some people having no symptoms at all.
- Seek additional support if you are in a high-risk category. If you are pregnant or have a chronic health condition, call your GP or the NSW Health COVID-19 Care at Home Support Line on 1800 960 933.
- There is additional advice for parents caring for children or babies with COVID-19.
- If you develop severe COVID-19 symptoms at any time, or for any other medical emergency, call Triple Zero (000) straight away and tell the ambulance staff that you have COVID-19.