COVID isolation cut to five days

The isolation period for COVID-19 positive cases will reduce from seven to five days provided a person is symptom-free under changes agreed at National Cabinet this week.

The changes come into effect from Friday, September 9.

However, people who still have symptoms after five days must continue to isolate.

And workers in high-risk settings including hospitals, health care settings, disability and aged care facilities, and those providing care in the home are still required to isolate for seven days following a positive test.

Close contacts with no symptoms do not have to isolate for the five days if they:

  • undertake daily Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT);
  • wear a mask outside the home;
  • avoid high-risk settings, including hospitals, health care settings, and disability and aged care facilities;
  • work from home (where possible);
  • avoid non-essential gatherings and contact with people at risk of severe illness; and
  • notify their employer/educational facility of their close contact status.

The change to isolation requirements will enable people who have tested positive to COVID-19 and close contacts with no symptoms to return to work sooner, while continuing to protect at-risk people in our community.

Separately, Premier Mark McGowan said mask-wearing requirements on all public and passenger transport will also be eased from September 9. Mask wearing will still be required for high-risk settings such as hospitals, correctional facilities, residential aged care and disability service facilities to protect the most vulnerable and staff.

Visitation limits will also be eased for residential aged and disability care facilities. From Friday, September 2, these facilities will be able to determine the number of visitors permitted per resident each day. Proof of vaccination will still be required for aged care facilities, in addition to mask-wearing at both aged care and disability care facilities.

National Cabinet also agreed to lift mask restrictions for domestic flights.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told media that the Government was yet to decide whether paid pandemic leave would continue beyond September.

“There is a general view that we need to ensure that people are looked after who need to be looked after,” he reportedly said.

“It is a matter of working those issues through and that is why we are meeting in a fortnight’s time, because agreement of the extension of pandemic leave is due to conclude at the end of September.”

Our Employee Relations Advice Centre is also available to respond to your questions on (08) 9365 7660, or via  



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