Settlement Guide

COVID-19 Special Update: A new definition of close contact

Scott Morrison announces the reset of the 'close contact' criteria Source: AAP

This is a special update on the Coronavirus in Australia for 30 December 2021, following the National Cabinet decision on a nationalised definition of a COVID-19 close contact.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a national definition of a COVID-19 close contact. The new definition has been agreed upon in a National Cabinet today (Thursday 30 December).

  • A close contact will be considered as a person who is a household contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, or someone who has spent more than four hours with a confirmed case in a house, accommodation or care facility setting, except in exceptional circumstances.

  • If a person is considered a close contact, they must take a rapid antigen test (RAT) even if asymptomatic.

  • If the result of the RAT test is negative, they must continue to self-isolate for seven days from their date of exposure to the person who is a confirmed case and take another RAT test on day six.

  • If the result of the RAT test is positive they need to take a PCR test.

  • If a person is symptomatic, they must receive a PCR test and continue to self-isolate for seven days.

  • The new definition comes into effect at midnight today in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and ACT. 

  • The new rules will also apply to people currently in isolation, according to the Prime Minister. 
  • Tasmania will follow on January 1, Northern Territory and Western Australia will be making announcements over the next few days.

  • South Australia will embrace the change in the definition of close contact but maintains the 10-day isolation period rather than the 7-day applied by other States and Territories.

For measures currently in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in your language, visit here.

Quarantine and restrictions state by state:

Find out what you can and can't do in your state or territory


Information for international travellers and Covid-19 and travel information in language

Financial help

There are changes to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment once states reach 70 and 80 per cent fully vaccinated:  Getting help during Covid-19 from Services Australia in language

Visit the translated resources published by NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service:

COVID-19 Vaccination Glossary
Appointment Reminder Tool.

Testing clinics in each state and territory:

South Australia 
Western Australia 
Northern Territory

Coronavirus Vaccine and COVID-19 updates in your language

The latest updates on Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Novavax Coronavirus Vaccines and COVID-19 news from Australia in your language.


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