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Your infectious period

Infectious period for COVID-19

The COVID-19 infectious period can vary but most people are considered to be infectious from 48 hours before their symptoms start.

Isolation periods are guidelines since the disease acts differently in each person. If you still have symptoms, you may still be contagious.

What you need to know

People who still have acute respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat, after 7 days are still considered to be infectious.

The COVID-19 virus is passed on by coughing, or by contact with hands, surfaces or objects that are contaminated with the virus. While you have symptoms, and immediately after, keep your distance from others, wash your hands and cover your mouth with your elbow if you have a lingering cough.

COVID-19 can spread quickly and is more contagious than the flu.

If 7 days have passed and you still have acute respiratory symptoms (such as a cough, runny nose or sore throat) since your first positive test, you should keep isolating until these symptoms have resolved.


Got other COVID questions? Get COVID clarity

Use the COVID-19 Symptom and Antiviral Eligibility Checker to find out if you need to seek medical help.

Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 at any time if you need advice.

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