Coronavirus NSW, VIC restrictions update: Everything you need to know about changing close contact rules and relaxation of restrictions

In the latest round of liquidation restrictions, which both states have adopted with slightly different conditions, close household contacts will be allowed to leave the home but must still take regular rapid antigen tests.

In both states, a positive case of COVID-19 must still isolate for seven days. Here’s what we know about relaxation constraints:

Household contacts in both NSW and Victoria will be able to leave home without self-isolating. (Getty)

What is changing today due to the COVID-19 restrictions in NSW and Victoria?

NSW and Victoria are relaxing their COVID-19 restrictions that require a household contact (i.e. someone who lives in the same household as a positive COVID-19 case) to self-isolate for seven days.

The rules also apply to people who have been considered a close contact.

When are restrictions relaxed?

In NSW, family and close contacts will no longer need to self-isolate for seven days from 6pm on Friday 22 April.

In Victoria, household and close contacts will no longer need to self-isolate for seven days from 11:59 p.m. on Friday 22 April.

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing clinic in Maroubra, Sydney.
In NSW, restrictions will be relaxed at 6pm this Friday, while in Victoria they will be relaxed at 11:59pm this Friday. (Louis Kennerley)

Does that mean domestic contacts can just live their lives freely?

No. Although the mandatory isolation period is eliminated, some conditions still remain.

In NSW, household contacts must wear a face mask in all indoor settings outside the home, take a rapid antigen test daily, and are not allowed to visit nursing homes, hospitals, correctional or disability facilities.

In Victoria, household contacts must also wear a face mask when outside the home but in an indoor setting, must avoid all “sensitive” settings such as hospitals and elderly care facilities, and must take five rapid antigen tests over the course of seven days.

What about people who test positive for COVID-19?

In both NSW and Victoria, people who test positive for COVID-19, either through a rapid antigen or PCR test, are still required to isolate for seven days.

Positive cases of COVID-19 will still need to isolate for seven days at home. (Getty)

If I am considered a family contact, can I still go to work?

Most likely, but it depends.

In NSW, it is recommended that domestic contacts work from home “where practical”. Critical or essential workers will not be required to have a formal exemption, but must still comply with the rules established by their employer.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21: A sign for the COVID-19 testing clinic at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on January 21, 2022 in Sydney, Australia.  NSW has recorded 46 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, marking the deadliest day in the state since the start of the pandemic.  NSW also recorded 25,168 new coronavirus infections in the latest 24-hour reporting period.  (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

Your questions about COVID-19 answered

In Victoria it is also recommended that close contacts work from home if possible. Masks are still “strongly recommended” when a person cannot physically distance themselves.

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