Changes to isolation period for positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts
The NSW Government will adopt nationally consistent principles for the definition of a close contact and isolation periods for COVID positive cases, and remove mandatory PCR testing requirements for international arrivals.
Following yesterday’s National Cabinet the NSW Government will immediately implement the below arrangements for COVID cases and contacts:
|Positive COVID-19 case||7 days isolation commencing on the day of testing. Unless otherwise advised a person may leave isolation after 7 days without formal notification or a further test. People in this category must take precautions (mask etc) and avoid high risk settings, such as hospitals and aged care for a further 3 days.|
|Close contacts Defined as: A household contact, or where more than four hours of exposure has occurred in a residential setting; and Contacts in a setting where Health has determined there to be a high level of transmission.||7 days isolation from the day of exposure, and obtain a PCR test as soon as possible. High risk settings, such as hospitals and aged care should be avoided for a further 7 days. A rapid antigen test (RAT) is required at Day 6 and, if positive, must be followed by a PCR test.|
|All other contacts||Monitor for symptoms and if symptoms develop, undertake a PCR test.|
|If you have symptoms||Obtain a PCR test if you have symptoms at any time.|
These contact and isolation arrangements apply to all people, regardless of vaccination status. NSW Health is developing guidelines to allow social contacts to assess their risk.
Effective immediately testing requirements for international travellers will also be revised. All fully vaccinated international travellers and flight crew arriving in NSW will be required to undertake a Rapid Antigen Test on days one and six after arrival.
Symptomatic arrivals will be required to get a PCR as soon as possible and isolate until negative result is received. If the PCR test is positive, the arrival must treat themselves as a positive case.
Under existing arrangements, all international travellers and flight crew are also required to produce a negative pre-departure test, within three days of boarding their flight. Unvaccinated arrivals will continue to be quarantined (capped at 210 per week) and require PCR testing.
Guidelines will be developed recommending international arrivals not attend at an aged care, health care, disability care or correctional facility for 7 days after arrival.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said this approach to dealing with COVID would provide certainty for people as we continue to chart a course out of the pandemic.
“Across the country we have done an incredible job in getting vaccinated to protect people and our health systems. High vaccination rates mean we can adapt our response to deal with the new challenges that come our way,” Mr Perrottet said.
“These changes will ensure our health system continues to work for people who need it most. We need everyone to keep playing their part and to only come forward to get tested if they have a medical need or are directed to do so.
“NSW has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and it is vital we maintain that advantage and people book in for their booster shots as soon as they can to protect themselves, their families and the community.”
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was important our health system was reserved for people who needed it.
“Our frontline health workers have done an amazing job over the past two years and their efforts have helped keep countless people safe and we can’t thank them enough,” Mr Hazzard said.
“As we learn to live with COVID, people must make sure they only seek testing if they are feeling unwell, or are otherwise advised to get tested.”
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