Australian Border Force to screen anyone who returns to Australia from overseas for symptoms of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and provide them with information on self-quarantine.
If you have been overseas in the last 14 days and are feeling unwell, call your doctor immediately.
If you have been overseas and are feeling well, you need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date you arrived in Australia.
You must also self-quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone who already has novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
While you’re self-quarantining, if you start to feel unwell and develop any symptoms at all, but especially a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or a respiratory illness, you should seek immediate medical attention. Call ahead to your GP and tell them your travel history so they can prepare for your visit.
What does self-quarantine mean?
Self-quarantine means staying in your home, hotel room or provided accommodation, and not leaving for the period you are required to quarantine. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home.
Does this mean my family or other people I live with need to self-quarantine?
The rest of your household does not need to self-quarantine if you stay away from others in your home. They are only required to self-quarantine if they meet one of the criteria for self-quarantine outlined above.
As much as possible, you should:
➤stay in a room away from others
➤sleep in a separate bedroom
➤use a separate bathroom
Also, don’t allow visitors.
Practice good hygiene and maintain a minimum of 1.5 metres distance.
Vulnerable people, like those over the age of 60 with chronic disease, should stay somewhere else.
How do I get things I need while in self-quarantine?
The Queensland Government is partnering with the Australian Red Cross, to ensure people have access to support during their period of self-quarantine. This service includes a regular telephone call to check-in on the person’s wellbeing and to identify any practical support they may need help with. For example, organising the delivery of groceries, access to educational materials, replacement of medications etc.
People who are self-quarantined must call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for further advice and to register for support. Staff at 13 HEALTH can connect people through to a local public health unit and other health support services.
What happens when I end my 14 days of self-quarantine?
If you have self-quarantined for 14 days without any symptoms, you are free to go about your usual activities and return to work, school, childcare, TAFE and university.
If you require a medical certificate, you will need to see a GP.
You should seek medical attention immediately if you develop symptoms while in self-quarantine.
What happens to those who do not comply with self-quarantine orders?
The health and wellbeing of Queenslanders is our top priority, and we know Queenslanders are always supportive of measures that protect the community.
Queensland Health is issuing notices to people who have travelled to at-risk areas, or who have been in contact with a confirmed case, that requests them to voluntarily quarantine themselves.
If a person is suspected to have breached the notice they had voluntarily agreed to, we’ll initially work closely with the person to ensure they not only understand their obligations, but also the importance and seriousness of self-quarantine under the current global circumstances.
There are additional compliance measures available to Queensland Health under the Public Health Act 2005, and any further failure to comply may be subject to enforced quarantine and receiving fines of up to $13,345 and other penalties.
Keeping spirits up while in self-quarantine
Being under quarantine can be frightening, particularly for young children. Suggestions include:
➤sleep in a separate bedroom Talk to the other members of the family about the infection. Understanding novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will reduce anxiety.
➤sleep in a separate bedroom Reassure young children using age-appropriate language.
➤sleep in a separate bedroom Keep up a normal daily routine as much as possible.
➤sleep in a separate bedroom Think about how you have coped with difficult situations in the past and reassure yourself that you will cope with this situation too. Remember that quarantine won’t last for long.
➤sleep in a separate bedroom Keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media.
➤sleep in a separate bedroom Exercise regularly. Options could include exercise DVDs, dancing, floor exercises, yoga, walking around the backyard or using home exercise equipment. Exercise is a proven treatment for stress and depression.
Reducing boredom while in self-quarantine
Being confined to home for an extended period can cause boredom, stress and conflict. Suggestions include:
➤sleep in a separate bedroom Arrange with your employer to work from home, if possible.
➤sleep in a separate bedroom Ask your child’s school to supply assignments, work sheets and homework by post or email.
➤sleep in a separate bedroom Don’t rely too heavily on the television and technology. Treat quarantine as an opportunity to do some of those things you never usually have time for, such as board games, craft, drawing and reading.