Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Western Australia is working closely with the Commonwealth and state and territory jurisdictional governments to respond appropriately to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.

This is a rapidly changing situation. Updates will be provided as any new information becomes available. Please check back regularly to ensure the information you have is up to date.

WHO has declared the new coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (external site).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Declared a Notifiable Disease

On 29 January 2020, ‘Human coronavirus with pandemic potential’ was declared an urgently notifiable disease under Part 9 of the Public Health Act 2016. This includes notification of confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information go to our notifiable infectious diseases page

Latest updates

Department of Health WA

Australian Government Department of Health


Health professionals and GPs

Clinical alert updates

Fact sheets – general

Fact sheets – PPE and infection control



Laboratory testing information

Self-quarantine and self-isolation

Self-quarantine (suspected cases/close contacts)

Self-quarantine is different to self-isolation. People identified as a suspected case of COVID-19 need to self-quarantine. This means they must stay in their home, hotel room, or other accommodation even if they are perfectly well with no symptoms. The only time a person who is a suspected case should leave their home/accommodation is to seek medical attention. When people are in self-quarantine they cannot attend public places such as work, school, shopping centres or go on a holiday.

People need to self-quarantine in the following circumstances:

  • If they have left, or transited through, mainland China they must self-quarantine themselves until 14 days after leaving China AND/OR
  • if they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they must self-quarantine themselves for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case.

For example:

  • if someone left Shanghai on 2 February 2020 and came to Australia via another country on 10 February 2020, they would only need to self-quarantine for 6 days until the 16th February (14 days from when they left mainland China)
  • if someone left Beijing on 5 February 2020 and arrived in Australia on the same day, they would be need to self-quarantine for 14 days until 19 February 2020.

Self-isolation (confirmed cases)

People who have a confirmed case of COVID-19 and are well enough to be cared for at home must remain in self-isolation. This is different to self-quarantine as it requires a few more actions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. People in self-isolation you must stay in their home, hotel room, or other accommodation. The only time they should leave their home/accommodation is to seek medical attention. This means they cannot attend public places such as work, school, shopping centres or go on a holiday. In addition, people in self-isolation must follow appropriate infection control measures such as:

  • wearing a surgical mask when they are in the same room with other people (irrespective of whether they are also in isolation or not),
  • covering their mouth and nose when they sneeze or cough,
  • washing hands often and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, and
  • ensuring they do not share household items with other people in their home.

People must stay in their place of isolation and not go out, except to seek medical care, for the length of time as advised by their doctor or public health unit.

Self-quarantine and self-isolation are important for protecting the Western Australian community.

Australian Department of Health resources

Laboratory testing information

Last reviewed: 21-02-2020