Last Updated: 16 Dec 2020 9:16am

Do I need to be tested for COVID-19 or get medical clearance to return to work?

If you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms

If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, there is no need to be tested. Check the testing for COVID-19 page for a full overview of symptoms but common symptoms include fever, sore/itchy throat, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and loss of taste and smell.

At all times in the workplace it is important to practise COVID-safe behaviours including handwashing and physical distancing. For more information, see the COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19

If you have any of the following symptoms, even mild symptoms, it is important to get tested for COVID-19: fever (or signs of fever e.g. chills, night sweats), cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath and loss of taste and smell.

Do not go to work or any other places – stay at home. Get tested as soon as possible by phoning the Public Health Hotline (1800 671 738) or your GP. Other than to attend your test or for urgent medical care, self-isolate until you get your test results. Even if the test result is negative, you should stay at home until you no longer have symptoms to prevent the spread of other illnesses in the workplace.

Get tested every time you get sick with any COVID symptoms, even if you’ve had a negative test result for a previous bout of illness.

For staff who have tested positive for COVID-19

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must stay at home (or your place of isolation) until you have fully recovered and receive a letter from Public Health Services stating you can leave isolation and return to normal duties, including work. Until then, you can only leave home (or your place of isolation) to access urgent pre-arranged medical care or if instructed to do so by emergency workers.

After recovering, it is important to get tested again if you develop symptoms again at any time.

Hay fever and COVID-19 symptoms

Hay fever can be caused by allergies to pollen from some flowering plants and is more common in Tasmania during spring and summer.

Hay fever symptoms can include:

  • runny, itchy or blocked nose
  • sneezing
  • itchy, sore and watery eyes
  • a cough.

These are also symptoms of a cold, flu and COVID-19 so it is hard to tell them apart without testing.

If you have hay fever symptoms, even mild symptoms, it’s important you get tested for COVID-19.

While you wait for your test result, please stay at home. Don’t go to work or any other place outside your home.

You can return to work or school if you have:

  • had a test for COVID-19 while you had symptoms and the result was negative
  • consulted a doctor to discuss your symptoms and received advice/treatment to manage them
  • received a certificate or letter from your doctor stating you currently have hay fever and can go to work.

If your symptoms worsen throughout the hay fever season or you develop a new symptom, see your GP. Your GP may ask you to get tested for COVID-19 again.

Rights at work

Where can I get information about my rights at work, eg being made to use annual/personal leave, being stood down, or being ordered to work from home?

Long service leave

Who can I talk to about accessing my long service leave, or being made to take it?

  • Private sector workers: if you are covered by the Long Service Leave Act 1976 (you can check this with Fair Work; see details above) then the WorkSafe Tasmania Helpline can provide advice. Complete WorkSafe Tasmania’s general enquiry form. Make sure you provide a contact number as the Helpline may need to contact you to discuss. Or call the Helpline on 1300 366 322.
  • Construction Industry workers: contact TasBuild online or call 6294 0807.
  • State Service workers: discuss with your HR team, your union, or the WorkSafe Tasmania Helpline on 1300 366 322.


Who can tell me about accessing my superannuation under 'hardship' circumstances?

Financial assistance

Where can I find the information about financial assistance that is available for workers who have been laid off or stood down?

Workers compensation

Who can help me with my workers compensation claim issues?

Work health and safety

Where can I find information about being COVID-19 safe at work, including information specific to my industry?