Important community updates

Recently updated
Last Updated: 25 Oct 2020 1:22pm

New SMS system enhancing quarantine compliance checking

Published 25 October 2020

Travellers in home quarantine can opt in to use SMS technology to confirm their location as part of compliance checks from 26 October 2020.

The new technology will enhance, rather than replace, the physical compliance checks that have been conducted by Tasmania Police and other authorised officers since March this year.

SMS messages will be sent to those in quarantine via Whispir, a secure communications platform already used successfully by Tasmania Police.

If the recipient opts in via SMS, mobile phone location services will be used to pinpoint their location. They will not be live tracked - their location will be provided on a map image when they click on the link in the SMS.

Tas e-Travel system live

Published 23 October 2020

Tasmania’s new traveller system ‘Tas e-Travel’ is live and now accepting registrations for travel from low-risk areas under eased border restrictions from next week.

From Monday 26 October 2020, restrictions will continue to be based on the risk level in areas where travellers have spent time prior to arriving in Tasmania, with areas classified as either low, medium or high-risk. This will be determined by the number of COVID-19 cases or level of community transmission in those areas and subject to Public Health advice.

Low-risk areas will be Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New Zealand. Travellers who have only spent time in these areas in the 14 days prior to arriving in Tasmania will not be required to quarantine.

From Monday, people who have only been in these low-risk areas can simply register their details and answer questions about where they will have spent time before arriving in Tasmania, to receive a Tas e-Travel QR code. This can be done online, no more than three days before they arrive.

Travellers from medium and high-risk areas will still be able to provide their details via the G2G PASS system.

New South Wales will be considered a medium-risk area (hyperlink) with the requirement to quarantine on arrival, however this can be at a suitable premises, such as a private residence, if available, rather than a government-designated quarantine facility. Those without a suitable premises will need to quarantine at a government-designated facility.

Victoria remains a high-risk area, as do overseas countries (other than New Zealand) and cruise ships, and travellers from these areas must still provide information to help determine entry and quarantine requirements.

People who travelled from low-risk areas who are currently in either home or government-designated accommodation will be allowed to end their quarantine as of Monday.

Those who travelled from NSW (a medium-risk area) who are currently in government-designated quarantine accommodation will be able to nominate a suitable premises for the reminder of their 14 days. These travellers will be charged a pro-rata quarantine fee based on their length of stay.

A Framework for COVID-19 Safe Events and Activities in Tasmania

Published 23 October 2020

The Tasmanian Government is developing a Framework to support event organisers to plan and hold larger-scale COVID-19 safe events from 1 December 2020.

The Framework is being developed in consultation with the events, sports, arts and entertainment sectors and is consistent with World Health Organization, Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, and Public Health Services advice.

The Framework will be a living document and will be reviewed over time as the rules for mass gatherings and events are updated to reflect the changing COVID-19 situation in Tasmania.

More details regarding the framework and the process to register and seek approval for events to take place will be made available in the coming week.

More information is available here.

Tas e-Travel system live 3pm Friday 23 October

Published 22 October 2020

Tasmania’s new travel registration system, Tas e-Travel, will be live from 3pm Friday 23 October to enable travellers from low-risk areas to register to travel to the State without the need to quarantine.

The launch of the system comes as Tasmania plans to ease border restrictions from 26 October 2020.

Read Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein’s announcement of the upcoming changes.

Travellers from low-risk areas will register their details and answer questions about where they will have spent time in the 14 days prior to arrival in Tasmania and receive a Tas e-Travel QR code to be scanned on arrival.

Travellers from medium and high-risk areas will still be able to provide their details via the G2G PASS system.

Tas e-Travel and further information on updated border restrictions will be accessible via this website.

COVID-19 response plan for disability service providers

Published 13 October 2020

A plan to provide guidance to the Tasmanian disability service sector in relation to the management of COVID-19 has been released by the Tasmanian government. The Tasmanian Coronavirus Disability Service Providers Preparedness and Response Plan is a resource for disability service providers.

The Plan provides guidance material to disability service providers to help ensure they are prepared for, and can manage, the impacts of COVID-19 for their organisation, the people with disability they work with and their staff. It presents operational guidance on managing and preventing the transmission of COVID-19 for people with disability and also links to relevant resources and information sources.

For more information about the plan, visit: www.communities.tas.gov.au/disability

Border restriction changes from October 26

Published 13 October 2020

Tasmania will ease border restrictions for people travelling from Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory from October 26 based on current Public Health advice.

The situation is continuing to be monitored in NSW. A further update will be provided for people travelling from NSW prior to October 26.

Border restrictions will also remain in place for people travelling from Victoria until further notice.

A registration system will be in place for people entering the State from identified low-risk jurisdictions (currently Qld, ACT, SA, WA, NT) from October 26. People travelling from these jurisdictions will be required to register their travel via the Tas E-Travel online system a maximum of 3 days prior to arrival. Quarantine requirements will not be in place for people travelling from these jurisdictions provided they have not spent time in an Affected Region or Premises in the 14 days before arriving in Tasmania. The registration process will be available on this website from October 23.

Up until October 26, current travel restrictions remain in place and all travellers need to seek approval before entering the state - the easiest way of doing this is through the G2G PASS system. People wishing to enter the State from Victoria or NSW should also continue to apply through this process until further notice.

For more information visit Coming to Tasmania

Additional COVID-19 symptoms

Published 9 October 2020

It is important to get tested if you have or have had any of the following symptoms in the past 7 days, even mild: fever (or signs of fever, including chills or night sweats), runny nose, cough, sore/itchy throat, shortness of breath and loss of taste or smell.

COVID-19 can also present with the following symptoms that can occur on their own or combined with the other symptoms: headaches, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and fatigue. If you are experiencing these symptoms you should consider a COVID-19 test as part of managing your illness.

For more information visit Testing for COVID-19.

Easing of Border restrictions with low risk jurisdictions planned for October 26

Published 2 October 2020

The Tasmanian Government has announced that it will look to easing border restrictions with low risk Australian jurisdictions from October 26.

Low risk jurisdictions are determined by Public Health based on a number of factors which include the period of time they have gone with low or no numbers of cases and the lack of community transmission occurring in those jurisdictions.

At this stage, low risk states include South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, the ACT and possibly NSW.

The COVID-19 risk in all States and Territories continues to be monitored and the easing of restrictions is dependent on the situation in those jurisdictions.

Current restrictions and requirements remain in place until that time. Further information on requirements and restrictions in relation to border restrictions easing will be provided closer to the date.

Advice for hay fever symptoms

Published 28 September 2020

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 also has the same symptoms as 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.

If your result is negative, see your GP about managing your symptoms and ask for a certificate or letter so you can go back to work or school.

For more information visit Testing for COVID-19.

Seasonal workers information

Published 18 September 2020

The Tasmanian Government has announced that eligible agricultural (seasonal) workers from non-affected regions will be permitted to enter Tasmania to assist with the upcoming planting, production and harvest seasons from Monday 21 September.

As seasonal workers will likely be working and living closely together, additional conditions will be in place for approved applicants, for more information about these restrictions visit Conditions for Essential Travellers.

For more information visit Information for Seasonal Workers.

Changes to outdoor gathering limits

Published 18 September 2020

Outdoor gatherings of up to 1000 people will be permitted from Friday 25 September.

The change to outdoor gathering numbers is based on Public Health advice which recognises that the COVID-19 risk is stabilising across Australia, as well as the lower risk of outdoor events, compared to indoor events.

Maximum density limits of two square metres of space per person will continue to apply for all outdoor and indoor gatherings. Indoor gathering limits remain at 250 people.

WorkSafe Tasmania is developing a template to help event organisers create COVID-19 Safety Plan for their events.

This practical tool will support organisers of all types of events; and will help them consider changes to the COVID-19 risk in Tasmania over time. Venue owners and operators are also required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

Event organisers should also include in their planning for the possibility that their event may need to be postponed or cancelled if the COVID-19 situation in Tasmania (or other parts of Australia) changes.

For more information see Gatherings, density and physical distancing.

Changes to FIFO worker quarantine requirements

Published 18 September 2020

Tasmanian fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers who work interstate in low-risk areas for an extended period of at least seven days can apply for Essential Traveller status from Monday 21 September 2020.

Eligible FIFO workers will be required to apply as an Essential Traveller under Category 8 of the Schedule of Specified Persons through G2G PASS.

Applicants will need to provide evidence that they meet the definition of a FIFO under the Direction. FIFO workers will also need to comply with existing Public Health Directions while in Tasmania, including monitoring themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking testing if symptomatic.

Public Health Services has advised that this group of workers poses a low transmission risk as they have not spent time in an Affected Region or Affected Premises, particularly if they work in a remote setting (e.g. regional Western Australia).

This change in policy also recognises the significant and ongoing health and wellbeing impacts of repeated periods of quarantine, which FIFO workers have been exposed to since border restrictions started in March 2020.

Tasmanian FIFO workers who are currently in home quarantine and believe they are eligible to end their quarantine from 21 September 2020 under this change can email EssentialTraveller@dpipwe.tas.gov.au. Anyone not currently in quarantine needs to reapply or apply under Category 8.

For more information visit Information for FIFO workers.

Business Growth Loan Scheme now open

Published 15 September 2020

The Tasmanian Government has announced a $60 million Business Growth Loan Scheme.

The scheme provides businesses with concessional loan funding to adapt and transition to sustainable post-COVID operating models.

Loans from $20,000 to $3 million are available for eligible businesses and new projects. The scheme is open for 12 months or until all funding has been fully allocated, whichever occurs first.

For more information visit the Business Tasmania website or call 1800 440 026.

Update to COVID-19 Rent Relief for tenants and landlords

Published 4 September 2020

The Tasmanian Government is providing rent relief for residential households who rent homes in the private market and who are experiencing housing stress because of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund was established in May 2020 to assist tenants suffering from extreme hardship, with support of up to $2,000 or four weeks rent available.

Tenants who have already received financial help to pay their rent can apply for a second rental extra support payment if their circumstances have not changed.

A new Landlord Support fund has also been established for landlords suffering from financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

The Support Funds are available until 1 December 2020.

For more information, including how to apply, go to the Communities Tasmania website.

State of Emergency extended

Published 28 August 2020

The Tasmanian Government has announced the extension of the State of Emergency until 26 October 2020 to protect against the threat of a COVID-19 emergency occurring in Tasmania.

Update on dancing restrictions

Published 28 August 2020

Restrictions remain in place for dancing in all venues where food and alcohol is consumed because of the increased risk of close contact, particularly where alcohol is consumed, and difficulty of tracing contact among patrons. This restriction will be in place at least until the end of 2020.

Dancing will only be permitted when it is pre-arranged, held in a separate room to where food and alcohol is consumed and contact information is recorded. For example, the following could occur:

  • a pre-arranged dance class in a separate room of a pub;
  • dance classes or dancing in a community hall; and
  • water, tea, coffee and other non-alcoholic drinks could be consumed in the same room as a dance class or dancing.

The only other exception is dancing at a wedding reception. The wedding couple, their parents/guardians and other bridal party members can dance.

The management of risk associated with these activities must also be covered in a venue’s COVID-19 Safety Plan.

If someone hires a venue, such as a community hall, they share with the venue owner/operator the responsibility for managing dance and other activities, including physical distancing and facilitating a safe entry and exit to the premises.

Changes to standing activities in licensed premises

Published 27 August 2020

Business restrictions are changing from 28 August 2020 to allow standing activities – like darts, pool, eight-ball, snooker and karaoke – in licensed venues.

People attending an event in a licensed venue can move around freely, as long as they are not standing and drinking alcohol. For example, at a function or a networking event, people can stand and mingle, but they must to be seated while drinking alcohol.

Restrictions remain in place for dancing in all venues where food and alcohol is consumed because of the increased risk of close contact, particularly where alcohol is consumed, and difficulty of tracing contact among patrons. This restriction will be in place at least until the end of 2020.

See Current restrictions and Business restrictions for more information, including how these changes apply to specific settings.

Pandemic leave disaster payment now available for Tasmanians

Published 26 August 2020

The Australian Government has extended Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment arrangements to include Tasmania.

Tasmanian workers are now eligible for a $1,500 lump sum payment if they cannot work because they need to self-isolate or quarantine and applies.

If an individual is instructed by a health official to stay home from work, and has used up all their sick leave entitlements, including any special pandemic leave, they may be eligible to make a claim. People may also be eligible if they’re the parent or guardian of a child aged 16 or under who is a close contact or has tested positive for COVID-19.

Tasmanian workers are eligible for the payment if they are not receiving income, earnings or salary maintenance from work, receiving the JobKeeper Payment or other forms of Australian Government income support. The payment can be claimed again should an extended quarantine period longer than 14 days be instructed by health officials.

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment applies from 22 August 2020. To make a claim call 180 22 66. Further information is available at http://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster.

Mersey Community Hospital Emergency Department

Published 20 August 2020

From Monday 24 August, the Mersey Community Hospital emergency department will be open daily from 8am to 6pm.

Patients who need emergency care outside these hours will be redirected to other hospitals, including the North West Regional Hospital and Launceston General Hospital.

Ambulance Tasmania will continue to transport people in need of emergency hospitalisation to the hospital that is best able to provide the service that patient needs.

Extension of the Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants

Published 7 August 2020

The Tasmanian Government has announced the extension of the Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants.

The grants are being extended from 8 August 2020 to cover casuals and low-income workers who are unable to work while awaiting a COVID-19 test result.

A one-off payment is available to those eligible ($250 per adult, $125 per child, with a maximum of $1,000 per household).

Applications can be made through the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline 1800 671 738.

Testing locations for COVID-19

Updated 21 July 2020

Testing sites are available across Tasmania. Some sites do not require bookings and offer drive-up testing.

Tasmanian Government COVID-19 Testing Clinics
DatesLocationBookingsNotes
Tasmanian Government COVID-19 Testing Clinics
Daily

Hobart

Launceston

Booking required - call Public Health Hotline: 1800 671 738

On premises testing

Best option for high-risk people including:

  • healthcare, aged care and residential care workers or staff with direct patient contact
  • people who travelled outside Tasmania or had close contact with a confirmed case within 14 days of developing symptoms
  • people in quarantine (day 10-12).
8:30am - 3:30pm daily

Devonport, East Devonport Recreation Centre (67 Caroline Street)

Burnie, West Park, 'The Point' (10 Bass Highway)

No booking required

Mobile testing clinics
Details of future mobile testing clinics to be advised.

It is recommended that if you have any of the following symptoms, get tested for COVID-19:

  • fever
  • runny nose
  • cough
  • sore/itchy throat, or
  • shortness of breath.

If you become very unwell or have difficulty breathing, call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Read more about Testing for COVID-19.

Changes to gatherings under Stage 3

Updated 26 June 2020

From 12pm Friday 26 June, the number of people permitted at businesses/activities (other than households) has increased.

Gathering sizes have increased to a maximum of 500 people in an undivided space outdoors and 250 people for an undivided space in an indoor premises. Maximum density limits have moved from 4sqm per person to 2sqm.

Where the number of people permitted according to the density limit is less than the gathering limit, the lower number applies.

For more information, see Current restrictions.

COVID-19 Safety Plans

Published 15 June 2020

The Government has a plan to ‘Rebuild a Stronger Tasmania’. As part of this plan, all workplaces are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that complies with the minimum COVID-19 safety standards that are now in place. See COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework for more information.