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COVID-19 isolation and testing requirements

In response to the changing COVID-19 caseload, the WA Government has updated the testing and isolation requirements for close contacts. The new arrangements will give employers and workers an improved ability to continue working despite increasing case numbers.

In addition to a revised definition for close contacts, the revised requirements:

  • reduce the COVID-19 isolation period to 7 days; and
  • amend the testing protocols.

These settings will apply in a high caseload environment, as directed by the WA state government, to balance the risk of transmission with social and economic continuity.

Close contact definition

A close contact is someone who has:

  • a household member or intimate partner who has COVID-19 and where they have had contact with the person during their infectious period; or
  • had close personal interaction with a person with COVID-19 during their infectious period, for example:
    • at least 15 minutes face-to-face contact where at least one person was mask-free; or
    • over two hours in a small room, without masks; or
  • been directed by WA Health that you are a close contact.

Testing and isolation requirements

If you are a confirmed positive case, you must:

  • self-isolate for a minimum of seven days; and
  • on day seven:
    • if symptoms are still present, continue isolating until symptoms clear; or
    • you can leave self-isolation without testing if you do not have any symptoms.

If you are a symptomatic close contact, you must:

  • self-isolate for seven days from the date of contact with a positive case
  • take a PCR test or RAT on day one, or as soon as possible
    • if positive, follow the confirmed positive case guidelines or
    • if negative, remain in isolation; and
  • repeat the RAT 24 hours after the previous test
    • if positive follow the confirmed positive case guidelines or
    • if negative remain in isolation and
  • repeat the RAT on day seven, prior to ending isolation
    • if positive follow confirmed positive case guidelines or
    • if negative and no other household members have tested positive, you may end isolation

If you are an asymptomatic close contact, you must:

  • self-isolate for seven days from the date of contact with a positive case
  • if symptoms develop, take a PCR test or RAT
    • if positive follow the confirmed positive case guidelines or
    • if negative remain in isolation for the remainder of the seven day period and
  • if still asymptomatic, take a RAT on day seven
    • if positive follow the confirmed positive case guidelines or
    • if negative and if no other household members have tested positive, you may end isolation, but must continue to monitor for symptoms

If you are symptomatic, but not a close contact, you must:

  • get a PCR test immediately and isolate until result returned
    • if positive follow confirmed positive case guidelines or
    • if negative you are not required to isolate, but should stay home until symptoms clear or
  • if a PCR test is unavailable, take a RAT:
    • if positive follow confirmed positive case guidelines or
    • if negative you must continue to isolate and
  • repeat the RAT 24 hours after the previous test
    • if positive follow confirmed positive case guidelines or
    • if negative you are not required to isolate, but should stay home until symptoms clear

The WA Government’s COVID-19 testing and isolation protocols document includes flowcharts for each scenario.

Positive RAT results will be required to be registered via the WA Government’s online registration system.

Test Isolation Payment

If you are required to isolate while awaiting a PCR test result, you may be eligible for the WA Government’s $320 Test Isolation Payment.

You can apply for the payment if you:

  • were a resident of Western Australia
  • were aged 17 years or over
  • were unable to undertake paid work and
  • did not have access to paid leave or other income

The payment is also available to parents and carers who lost income due to PCR-testing isolation for their child or someone they care for.

For testing dates between 23 December 2021 and 4 February 2022, applications must be received by 26 February 2022.  Otherwise applicants have three weeks from the test date to apply.

HIA has also prepared a detailed guide to assist members in determining the type of leave available to employees who are impacted by COVID-19.

To find out more, contact HIA's Workplace Services team

Email us

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