Advice on who should quarantine and who should isolate, how to prepare and how to support someone who is sick during a quarantine period.
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Who is required to quarantine?

The following groups are required to quarantine for a period of 14 days:

  • international travellers - please see international travellers on this website
  • those who have come into close contact with a person who is confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you’re in self-quarantine you can’t:

  • leave that place except in an emergency
  • allow other people into the home if they don’t live there
  • be closer than 1.5 metres to others in the home.

If you self-quarantined after coming into contact with a person confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19)

If, at the end of 14 days, you remain well, you can cease self-quarantine. No medical certificate is required to enable you to return to other activities.

If you were confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19)

You will be regularly contacted by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) after your diagnosis. You cannot end isolation until you meet the relevant clearance requirements. The department will discuss these requirements with you. Further details can also be found on the dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline 1800 675 398 (24 hours, 7 days a week).

What if my coronavirus (COVID-19) test was negative?

If you are unwell, and your coronavirus (COVID-19) test was negative, you should isolate at home until your symptoms have completely resolved. This will stop you passing any infection on to others. 

What if I am unwell and haven’t been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Anyone who has respiratory symptoms, mild flu-like symptoms, a sore throat, runny nose, cough or loss of smell should be tested. The more people we test, the more data we have about the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community. Mobile testing sites are operating around Melbourne. 

If you are feeling unwell

If you start to feel unwell, and especially if you develop any of the typical symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) during the 14-day self-quarantine period, you should either:

  • call the dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 (24 hours, 7 days a week) for advice
  • call ahead to your GP before you arrive at the doctor’s office so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures
  • mention any recent contact with a person confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19). 

If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

If, at the end of 14 days, you are unwell with respiratory symptoms, you must continue to stay in self-quarantine. Call the dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 (24 hours, 7 days a week) to find out what you should do next.

What if I am sharing a house with someone who is in self-quarantine?

There are different reasons for people to be in self-quarantine, so if you are sharing a house with someone in this situation, the obligations on you will differ.

  • If the person is well but has come into close contact with a person confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19)

If the person you live with is in self-quarantine as a precaution and follows all the required steps for self-quarantine, nobody else in the house is required to self-quarantine.

  • If the person has been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) and is waiting for a result

If the person you live with is in self-quarantine because they have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) and are awaiting their result, there is no need for others in the house to self-quarantine unless the person is confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19). At that point, all people in the household will be considered to have had close contact with the case and be required to self-quarantine.

  • If the person is a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) case 

If the person you live with is confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19), all people in the household are regarded as having had close contact and are required to self-quarantine.

Can I go outside during self-quarantine?

It’s OK to go out into the backyard of your house or onto the balcony of your apartment or hotel room during self-quarantine – getting some sun and fresh air can help you feel calm and relaxed. Always observe the recommended physical distancing requirements from the people around you in the home and wear a surgical mask if you have one.

Can I receive deliveries during self-quarantine?

Yes, although you should maintain appropriate physical distancing from the delivery person, and they should not enter your home. They should leave your delivery outside your door. Consider making payment for the delivery online in advance or using a contactless payment method to minimise the chances of physical contact. Avoid paying by cash.

Caring for someone who is sick during a quarantine period

If you are looking after a sick family member during a period of self-quarantine, there are some important things you should do to keep everyone in your home safe:

  • Ensure the sick person remains in one room away from others in the household.
  • Keep their door closed and windows open where possible.
  • Keep the number of carers to a minimum and do not allow visitors from outside the household to visit.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser before and after entering the room.
  • Keep the sick person’s crockery and utensils separate from the rest of the household.
  • If available, wear a surgical mask (single-use face mask) when you are in the sick person’s room.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces such as tabletops, doors, computer keyboards, taps and handles often.
  • Dispose of tissues and masks in a sealed plastic bag and put in the usual household waste.
  • If the person starts to feel worse, call the dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 (24 hours, 7 days a week) for advice.
  • If you need to visit your GP, call ahead and mention that you are currently in self-quarantine so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures.

If the person you are caring for develops serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Caring for others around you

Think about elderly friends, neighbours, and people with a disability in your community and how you can support each other during a period of self-quarantine. If you are not currently in self-quarantine but others around you are, think about how you might be able to help them out, such as regularly checking in by phone or by supporting them to get food and other necessities.

Caring doesn’t just benefit others; evidence shows it is one of the best ways to improve our own mental wellbeing.

What support is available for people in self-quarantine? 

If you are in self-quarantine, stay in regular contact with your close family and friends and ask them to get food, medicines or other necessities for you when you’re running low. You can also contact your local council who can support you in accessing services that meet your needs. Visit Know Your Council website to find your council.

If you don’t have nearby support to help you do this, call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398. Delivery of a free emergency relief package can be arranged for people who are unable to access food themselves or do not have support available to them.

What are the relief packages?

An emergency relief package contains essential food and personal care items that are available to vulnerable Victorians who are needing to self-quarantine due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The packages will help make sure people are able to access essential items while they self-quarantine.

Emergency relief packages contain essential food staples including cereal, long-life milk, sugar, pasta and canned vegetables.

Personal care items such as soap, deodorant and toothpaste are also provided as part of the packages. Nappies and baby formula can be provided if requested. 

The packages do not include medicines, incontinence and personal hygiene products, or pet food.

Who is eligible to receive a relief package?

People currently residing in Victoria who need to self-quarantine due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and don’t have enough food to feed themselves or their families may be eligible to receive an emergency relief package of basic supplies.

People need to be currently residing in Victoria, including residents, international students and people on working visas who live in Victoria.

These packages contain only basic supplies and are for people who do not have access to a support network or alternate means of obtaining food such as on-line delivery.

Wherever possible, we’re asking all Victorians to arrange for family or friends who are not required to self-quarantine to get food or necessities for you.

Any requests from people who are not in mandatory self-quarantine will be referred to the relevant local council to follow up.

How can people in need get an emergency relief package?

If you are in urgent need and don’t have a support network who can help you, call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 and select Option 3. The operating hours are between 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday, and 10.00am to 3.00pm on weekends and public holidays.

People can also call on behalf of someone they know who is self-quarantining and in urgent need of food supplies.

How long will the relief package last?

Each emergency food relief package is designed to provide basic food essentials and personal care items for a family of four for two weeks.

How much will it cost for a relief package?

The relief packages will be provided at no cost.

Will people be able to choose brands or specific items?

These packages are made up of basic essentials only and people do not have a choice as to what products are provided. We may not be able to cater for dietary or cultural requirements.

What if a person is too sick to cook for themselves?

If people are unable to cook for themselves, their details will be provided to the relevant local government who will consider options to provide or deliver meals.

How will the relief packages be distributed?

Emergency relief packages will be distributed by partner organisations including the Red Cross, and Foodbank Victoria. 

Packages will be delivered to the door of people who are self-isolating or self-quarantining. Deliveries should arrive within 24 to 48 hours, depending on location.

What other support for accessing food is available?

Woolworths

Home delivery: This service is now available to all customers. Eligible customers, including seniors, people with a disability and those with compromised immunity or who are required to self-quarantine can still access a priority home delivery service with dedicated delivery windows. These customers can call 1800 000 610 to seek assistance or register online.

Food and grocery packs: This ‘Basics Box’ for $80 helps provide essential products for customers who are currently unable to visit stores and are in genuine need. It helps provide meals, snacks and a few essential items, including toilet paper, and is delivered within approximately two to five business days via Australia Post. They are unable to cater for specific dietary requirements and there is a limit of two boxes per customer, per fortnight.

Community pick-up: This service is available in 700 selected locations to allow Priority Assistance customers to place an order online for someone to pick up on their behalf. This service will be available for over 100 pick-up drive through locations and in 600 stores for pick-up at the service desk. 

Coles

Home delivery and click and collect: Normal home delivery and click and collect services are back to business as usual. The Coles Online Priority Service (COPS) provides a delivery service and ‘click and collect’ option for customers unable to get to a store. Existing Coles Online and FlyBuys customers who are aged over 70 and had registered their date of birth as part of their account details have been invited to join COPS. The service is also available to: 

  • People over 65 years of age with a My Aged Care number or NDIS number;
  • Indigenous Australians over the age of 50 with a My Aged Care number or NDIS number;
  • Aged care, disability care and other businesses that support vulnerable members of the community.

Find out more

Food and grocery pack: The Coles Community Box is $80 and includes delivery. The box contains nutritious items for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the contents of the box being enough to support two people aged 65+ for seven days. Available to all eligible Coles Online Priority Service customers.

Find out more

IGA 

Home delivery: IGA is providing a Priority Shop home delivery service to many areas, offering four package options - the Essentials, Pantry Plus, Dog Pack, Cat Pack – available to: 

Eligible customers include:

  • the elderly (70+)
  • people who are immunosuppressed
  • Indigenous Australians (50+)
  • people with a disability
  • and people who are required to self-quarantine.

To check eligibility for IGA Priority Shop, please call 1800 018 384 or visit igashop.com.au

Foodworks 

Home delivery: Foodworks has partnered with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to provide a priority delivery service. You can access this service via foodworks.com.au website.

7-Eleven

Home delivery: 7-Eleven is launching a delivery service in Melbourne for snacks and key essentials with no contact delivery. The service will be available in the coming weeks, customers can find out more on 7ElevenDelivery.com.au.

Pet food

Pet food can be ordered online from pet stores such as Pet Stock, Pet Barn, My Pet Warehouse, or contact local pet stores to check if they offer delivery. Some useful websites are below:
Petbarn.com.au
Petstock.com.au 
Petbarn.com.au - delivery information