13 September 2022

Reduced isolation period for COVID-19 cases and close contacts

The isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 has changed from 7 to 5 complete days.

The changes apply to people with COVID-19 and close contacts, provided they have no symptoms at Day 5, and came into effect from 12.01am on Friday 9 September.

If a case has symptoms on Day 5 of isolation, they must continue to isolate until they no longer have symptoms or have a certificate from a medical practitioner that they have recovered.

While the isolation period is 5 days, there is a 7 day ‘exclusion period’ for cases and close contacts.

COVID-19 cases (HealthyWA) and close contacts (HealthyWA) must not enter high risk settings, including hospitals, healthcare settings, aged care facilities and residential care facilities (including disability care and mental health residential facilities), for at least 7 days following a positive test (cases) or becoming a close contact.

Close contacts without symptoms who work in a high-risk setting may attend the setting to work during their 7-day exclusion period if their employer agrees and they are fully vaccinated. They must also follow requirements including wearing a surgical mask, and actively check for symptoms.

For all cases and close contacts, mask use is recommended in indoor settings on Days 6 and 7 of the exclusion periods.

During the 5-day isolation period, close contacts without symptoms are encouraged to work from home where possible and avoid non-essential gatherings and contact with people at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Close contacts without symptoms may leave their isolation premises during the 5 days of isolation if they:

  • record a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) result on each day they leave
  • always wear a mask outside the home.

Close contacts must take a rapid antigen test (RAT) on Day 5 (or have a PCR taken Day 4) and return a negative result to finish isolation at the end of 5 complete days.