Changes to the Territory’s COVID-19 contacts came into effect on Thursday.

Canberrans will no longer be labelled as close or casual contacts, instead, contacts of a positive case in the ACT will now be considered as either high, moderate or low risk.

  • High Risk – Someone who is a household contact or who has spent a long period of time with a positive case (e.g. you’ve spent the night with a positive case, spent the evening indoors, drove a long distance together or interacted closely without a mask.)
  • Moderate Risk – Someone who’s only spent some time with a positive case (e.g. you’ve had dinner out together, you met at a club or a bar for a couple of hours)
  • Low Risk – Very brief and distant contact with a positive case (e.g. you were in the same place/venue as someone with COVID-19, went for an outdoor walk)

Under the changes, the previous 4 hour exposure rule is no longer in effect.

Canberrans who become positive are now being asked to inform all their contacts from the two days prior to developing symptoms.

While, Canberrans who learn that they’ve been exposed to the virus are now also being encouraged to asses the new criteria and self declare which category they fall into.

For household contacts, you must quarantine for 7 days from when the positive result is received, have a PCR test as soon as possible then a rapid antigen test (RAT) on Day 6 before leaving quarantine.


Other high risk contacts, who aren’t household contacts, are recommended to get a PCR test as soon as possible, isolate for 7 days and a RAT test on Day 6.

Moderate exposure contacts should get a PCR test as soon as possible and isolate until negative, you should also get a second RAT test on Day 6 if the first test was within 5 days of original exposure.

For low risk contacts, it’s recommend you monitor for symptoms and get tested if you develop them.

For those needing a rapid antigen test under the new rules, who are unable to secure one, can still attend a testing clinic for a PCR test.

Further details on the changes can be found on the ACT COVID-19 website here.

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