Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
- wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
- cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- and if unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).
Travel restrictions and who needs to isolate?
Specific requirements are in place for people who have returned from a country or region that is at high or moderate risk for COVID-19, or think may they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus.
The following special restrictions apply to travellers:
- If a person has left, or transited through mainland China or Iran in the last 14 days, they must isolate themselves for 14 days from the date of leaving mainland China/Iran.
- If a person has left, or transited through the Republic of Korea (South Korea) on or after 5 March 2020, they must isolate yourself for 14 days after the date of leaving the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
- If a person has been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case.
Further information is available in the DoH fact sheet Coronavirus (CIVID-19) information for travellers arriving from mainland China, Iran, Republic of Korea and Italy. Any person to whom special restriction apply should follow guidance in the DoH fact sheet Coronavirus (COVID-19) Isolation guidance.
Travellers from Italy must present for health screening upon arrival in Australia, as directed at the border.
All returned travellers who have travelled in or transited through the remaining listed higher risk countries or a country considered to pose a moderate risk of transmission (these include Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Thailand) in the last 14 days should self-monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing and immediately isolate themselves if they become unwell. Social distancing includes:
- Avoiding crowds and mass gatherings
- Avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for e.g., family celebrations
- Keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and other people when out and about in public.
Returned travellers who, in the last 14 days, have travelled in or transited through any of the countries considered to pose a risk of transmission who are unwell with fever, or with respiratory symptoms (with or without fever) or other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should be isolated and managed as per the current recommendations for suspected cases.
If you are considering travel to any destination with detected cases of the novel coronavirus, information is available via the Smart Traveller website.
What does isolate in your home mean?
People who must isolate need to stay at home and must not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home.
Do not allow visitors into the home. Where possible, get others such as friends or family who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you. If you must leave the home, such as to seek medical care, wear a mask if you have one. For more information visit www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources
Information for casual contacts of a confirmed case
A casual contact is someone who has been in the same general area as someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus while infectious.
You are a casual contact if:
- You have had less than 15 minutes face-to-face contact in any setting with a confirmed case in the 24 hours period before the onset of their symptoms; or
- You have shared a closed space with a confirmed case for less than two hours in the 24 hours period before the onset of their symptoms.
Casual contacts do not need to be excluded from work or school while well. You must closely monitor your health and if you experience any symptoms you are advised to isolate yourself and contact your usual doctor, who will liaise with public health authorities to care for you.
Public health authorities may need to contact you for contact tracing purposes.
Should I wear a surgical mask?
You do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy. While the use of masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like coronavirus.
Where can I get more information?
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
The phone number of each state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts
If you have concerns about your health, speak to a doctor.