COVID-19: Quarantine and isolation rules

Government Directions on isolation and quarantine

On 15 March 2020 the WA government declared a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19. This allowed it to use emergency powers to create legally enforceable directions (rules) which aim to limit the spread of COVID-19.

There are two directions aimed at controlling the movement of people in the community who have, or may have, COVID-19: 

These directions are summarised below. They apply in addition to the quarantine rules that may be imposed on travellers arriving in WA from interstate or overseas (see the COVID-19: Travel restrictions page for more information about the requirements for entry into WA). If there is an inconsistency between these directions and the quarantine rules applicable to overseas and interstate arrivals, these directions will apply.

What is quarantine?

Quarantine is separating from the community for 14 days or as directed, to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. If you are in quarantine you cannot leave the place of quarantine other than as directed or for important reasons, such as to get urgent medical treatment or to escape an immediate threat to your safety. 

While you are in quarantine you must truthfully answer questions about your state of health.

What is isolation?

Isolation is a type of quarantine, but it involves stricter hygiene requirements. This includes wearing a face mask when around others and not sharing household items.

While you are in isolation you must truthfully answer questions about your state of health.

What are the rules about isolation in Western Australia?

You must go into isolation if you have tested positive for, or been diagnosed with, COVID-19. You must remain in isolation until you have recovered and been told you no longer need to isolate.

You must isolate if you have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for the results.

You must also isolate if you are in quarantine and develop symptoms of COVID-19. You must stay in isolation until you are told you no longer need to isolate.

What are the rules about quarantine in Western Australia?

While you are in WA you must go into quarantine if you are informed you have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19. 

If you are in quarantine and develop symptoms of COVID-19 you must go into isolation until you are told you no longer need to isolate.

If you are a traveller arriving in WA you may be required to go into quarantine in accordance with your conditions for entry into WA. Requirements on travellers who wish to enter WA are explained on the COVID-19: Travel restrictions page. 

Even if you have met the quarantine requirements imposed on you as a traveller entering WA, you may be required to quarantine further if you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

What rules apply to both quarantine and isolation?

While you are in quarantine or isolation you must truthfully answer questions about your state of health.

While you are in quarantine or isolation, other people cannot enter the place where you are quarantining or isolating unless they live with you or are permitted under the Directions to enter, for example to provide medical assistance to you or someone else in that place.

What is the possible punishment for breaching quarantine or isolation requirements?

If you break the rules about isolation or quarantine, you could be charged with a criminal offence. The maximum penalty that may be imposed by a court for this offence is 12 months imprisonment or a fine of $50,000. Alternatively police may issue you with a $1,000 infringement on the spot.

More information

Full details of the rules that apply to isolation and quarantine in WA are contained in these WA government Directions: 


Reviewed: 15 March 2021


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