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COVID-19 update for carers in NSW

Fri, 31 Dec

Carers NSW is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the ongoing government response and the wide ranging impacts it has on carers. Below is our latest COVID-19 information and resources for carers.

*Last updated 31 December 2021

Changes to testing and isolation rules

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison MP has announced changes to the definition of, and rules for COVID-19 ‘close contacts’ and the isolation period for people confirmed to have COVID-19 that will apply in NSW from 12:01am, Friday 31 December 2021.

Isolation period for confirmed COVID-19 cases

People who are confirmed to have COVID-19 must:

  • Isolate for 7 days from the date that they took the test that returned a positive result.
  • If they still have symptoms on day 7, take a PCR test and remain in isolation until they receive a negative result.
  • Avoid high risk settings, such as hospitals and aged care facilities, for a further 3 days after the isolation period

Close contacts

A close contact is now defined as a household contact or household-like contact of confirmed cases. This includes spending more than 4 hours with that person in a house, accommodation or care facility setting.

If you are a close contact:

  • Obtain a PCR or RAT test as soon as possible and isolate for 7 days from the day of exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on day 6 of isolation, and only leave isolation on day 7 if this result is negative. If the RAT result is positive, remain in isolation until you receive a negative result
  • Avoid high risk settings, such as hospitals and aged care facilities, for a further 7 days after the isolation period

Changes to booster eligibility period

Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt MP, has announced, following advice from ATAGI, that:

  • From 4 Jan 2022, the interval from the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to receiving a COVID-19 booster shot will be reduced to 4 months (instead of the current 5 months).
  • From 31 January 2022, the interval will be further reduced to 3 months.

People are encouraged to access vaccinations or their booster shot as soon as possible through the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder, or by contacting the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

Masks and QR code check-ins reintroduced

On 23 December 2021, the NSW Premier announced new COVID-19 restrictions in response to the rising number of cases across NSW.

Below are the key changes that are particularly relevant to carers. Additional detail can be found on the NSW Government website.

These changes apply to everyone in NSW, including people who are fully vaccinated (two doses of COVID-19 vaccine received), people who are not fully vaccinated and those with medical exemptions.

From 12.01am Friday, 24 December, masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including for hospitality staff and in offices, unless eating or

QR code check-ins
• From 12.01am Monday, 27 December 2021, QR code check-ins are compulsory, including for hospitality and retail venues.
• If you receive a notification from Service NSW after checking-in to a venue, follow the advice provided in the notification.

These measures will remain in place until 27 January 2022, unless otherwise specified.

The NSW Government is also asking people, over the holiday period, to reduce mingling where they can including when eating and drinking, work from home where possible and hold events outside to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

Tailored information for carers

Carers NSW will continue to provide updates via the News page of our website and via our Facebook page. Resources developed by Carers NSW to support carers to manage the practical and emotional challenges of caring through COVID-19, are available on our Carer Resources page, using the search term 'COVID'.