Important community updates

Last Updated: 07 May 2021 3:55pm

Premises in NSW declared high-risk

Published 5 May 2021

In response to a community case of COVID-19 in NSW, a number of premises in NSW will be declared high-risk effective from 12:01am Thursday 6 May.

Travellers intending to enter Tasmania, who were at any of the listed premises at the dates and times identified, will not be permitted to enter unless approved as an Essential Traveller.

People who are currently in Tasmania and have spent any time in NSW on or since Friday 30 April are asked to check the list of exposure sites on the Travel Alert page. If you visited any of the exposure sites at the specified dates and times, self-isolate immediately and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for further advice.

This list may change so travellers should check Travel Alert regularly, and monitor their health. Book a test via the hotline if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild.

Western Australia travel update

Published 3 May 2021

Contact tracing in relation to COVID-19 cases in Western Australia (WA) has identified a large number of food businesses as additional public exposure sites. Anyone who has recently spent time in WA should check the list provided by WA Health at https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/Locations-visited-by-confirmed-cases. Anyone in Tasmania who has visited any of the exposure sites at the time or date listed wo develops even mild symptoms should isolate and contact the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to organise testing, and remain isolated until they receive a negative result.

Some of the sites in Western Australia are now identified as high-risk premises by Tasmanian Public Health authorities. If you have been at any of the premises identified you will not be able to enter Tasmania unless approved as an Essential Traveller.

Premises in WA declared high-risk

Published 2 May 2021

In response to new cases of COVID-19 in Western Australia (WA), Tasmania’s Public Health Services will declare a number of WA exposure sites as high-risk from 9:00pm, 2 May.

The list of high-risk premises can be viewed on the Travel Alert page.

From 9:00 pm, Sunday 2 May, people intending to travel to Tasmania who have been in WA on or since 27 April will have their Tas e-Travel pass cancelled. Impacted travellers need to reapply for a Tas-eTravel pass and confirm they have not visited any of the high-risk premises at the date or time listed.

Anyone who has visited a high-risk premises at the date and time listed will not be permitted to enter Tasmania unless as an Essential Traveller. If approved, you will be required to quarantine at a suitable premises on arrival for 14 days. Anyone without a  suitable premises will be required to quarantine in Government-designated accommodation (fees can apply).

People who are currently in Tasmania and have spent any time in WA since Tuesday 27 April are asked to check the list of exposure sites on the Travel Alert page. If you visited any of the exposure sites at the specified dates and times, self-isolate immediately and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

This list may change so travellers should check Travel Alert regularly, and monitor their health. Book a test via the hotline if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild.

New cases of COVID-19 in WA

Published 1 May 2021

Western Australia (WA) Health has detected new cases of COVID-19 today. If you are currently in Tasmania and have spent any time in WA since 27 April, please check the WA list of locations visited by confirmed cases. If you have visited any of the locations at the time or date listed, please isolate immediately and contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 from 8:00am. Please check the list of WA locations regularly as more may be added in the coming days.

If you intend on travelling to Tasmania and have spent any time in WA since 27 April, please also check the WA list of locations visited by confirmed cases.  If you visited any of the locations at the time or date listed, contact WA Public Health Operations on 13 268 43 for further advice. Please check the list of WA locations regularly as more may be added in the coming days.

Western Australia travel update

Published 28 April 2021

Tasmania’s Director of Public Health has advised that the Perth Metropolitan and Peel Regions in Western Australia will be reclassified as low-risk from 5pm Wednesday 28 April 2021 – except for the high-risk premises which remain in place.

This means that anyone who has spent time in the Perth or Peel Regions in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Tasmania will not be required to quarantine on arrival – unless they were at any of the high-risk premises at the dates and times identified.

Anyone intending to travel to Tasmania who has been at one of the high-risk premises at the dates and times identified is not permitted to enter unless as an Essential Traveller.

Travellers who have applied through the G2G travel system and have only been in the Perth or Peel areas (and not high-risk premises or other high-risk areas) will have their applications cancelled and be directed to register their travel and contact details through Tas e-Travel. You will not be required to quarantine on arrival if you have not been in any other high-risk areas or premises.

WA classification to be reviewed 28 April

Published 26 April 2021

Tasmania’s Director of Public Health has advised that the Perth Metropolitan and Peel Regions in WA may be reclassified as low risk from midnight Wednesday 28 April 2021, provided no evidence emerges of unmanaged community risk.

This would restore quarantine-free travel to Tasmania for most people in and recently in Western Australia.

A small number of premises in Western Australia will remain designated as high-risk premises until 14 days after they last posed a risk. Anyone intending to travel to Tasmania who has been at one of the high-risk premises at the dates and times identified is not permitted to enter unless as an Essential Traveller.

See the latest media release.

WA update: Additional high-risk premises added 

Published 25 April 2021 

WA Health has identified further public exposure sites in response to COVID-19 cases. People already in Tasmania who arrived on or since Saturday 17 April and were in WA before arrival are asked to check the list of public exposure sites.

Some previously listed sites have been re-classified as high-risk to due transmission occurring at one of these premises. Anyone intending to travel to Tasmania who has been at one of the high-risk premises at the dates and times identified will not be permitted to enter unless as an Essential Traveller.

If you were in Tasmania and were at a listed site at the date and times specified, self-isolate immediately and call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. This list may change, so check the public exposure sites regularly.

Even if you have not been to a public exposure site, it is important to monitor your health and book a free COVID test via the hotline if you have any symptoms – no matter how mild.

Information for travellers transiting through Melbourne Airport Terminal 1

Published 24 April 2021 

Victoria Health has identified a public exposure site in relation to a confirmed COVID-19 case. If you are in Tasmania and have visited one of the listed exposure sites at the specified time and date, self-isolate immediately and contact the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. This list may change, so check the webpage regularly if you were in Victoria on or since Wednesday 21 April 2021.

Even if you have not been to a public exposure site, be alert for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing through the hotline on 1800 671 738 if you have any symptoms even mild.

Please be aware that the COVID-19 situation can change at any time, requiring restrictions or other measures to be put in place. Travellers should continue to monitor the latest situations at all times prior to travel.

Western Australia Update

Published 23 April 2021

Tasmania’s Public Health Services has declared the Perth Metropolitan and Peel regions in Western Australia high-risk regions from 12.01am Saturday 24 April 2021 in response to COVID-19 cases.

People intending to travel to Tasmania who have been in WA in the 14 days before their arrival will need to reapply for a Tas-eTravel pass and confirm they have not been in the high-risk areas.

Anyone who has been in a high-risk region in the 14 days before arrival will not be permitted to enter Tasmania unless as an Essential Traveller. If approved, you will be required to quarantine at a suitable premises on arrival for 14 days. Anyone without suitable premises will be required to quarantine in Government-designated accommodation (fees can apply).

People already in Tasmania who arrived on or since Saturday 17 April and were in WA before arrival are asked to check the list of public exposure sites identified by WA Health .

Anyone who was at any of the sites at the specified dates and times should self-isolate immediately and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 after 8am on Saturday 24 April 2021.

This list may change so travellers should check the webpage regularly, and monitor their health and book a test via the hotline if they have even mild symptoms.

People who departed Melbourne on the Spirit of Tasmania before 12.01am Saturday 24 April 2021 will still enter the State under their Tas e-Travel pass and will not be required to isolate unless they have been to an exposure site.

Changes to allow increased gathering numbers at indoor and outdoor events from 1 May

Published 23 April 2021

Organisers of large seated gatherings will be able to apply to increase their audience capacity to 100% from 1 May 2021.

The ease in restrictions from the current 75% cap will mean increased capacity at a range of seated venues including theatres, cinemas, places of worship and sports grounds.

Under the revised restrictions, gatherings under 250 people indoors and 1,000 outdoors, from 1 May will be allowed to go to the seating capacity of the venue or 250 people, whichever is fewer. This applies to cinemas, concert venues, theatres, places of worship and places at which a funeral is being carried out.

Staff employed at the premises, or service attendants, clergy and choir members at places of worship are not included in the gathering numbers.

For gatherings of 251 and greater (indoors) and 1,001 and greater (outdoors), stadiums, entertainment venues and arenas will be able to increase spectator numbers to 100 per cent of the seated area. In unseated areas a maximum of one person per two square metres of floor space will be allowed.

Employees and attendants do not count towards the audience numbers.

Organisers will still be required to apply for new events of 251 people and greater indoors and 1,001 people and greater outdoors through the Events Framework process.

For those Tasmanian venues with an existing approval of up to 75 per cent seated capacity, there is no need for your venue to apply again. You will receive an updated approval shortly for 100 per cent seated capacity from 1 May 2021.

The requirement to wear facemasks at certain indoor seated events will also be removed

All venues should continue to remind all attendees of the need to maintain COVID-19 safe behaviours including maintaining 1.5m physical distancing where possible, washing and sanitising hands, staying home and arranging testing if experiencing cold or flu like symptoms and covering coughs or sneezes.

Venues also still require a COVID-19 Safety Plan and contact tracing is required. From 1 May the Check In TAS app must be used for contact tracing purposes. If an attendee cannot use this app, they may be checked in by another attendee who can, or by the gathering organiser, or on a paper-based record managed by the organisers.

Smithton Mobile Testing Clinic

Published 23 April 2021

A COVID-19 mobile testing clinic will be available on at Smithton on Tuesday 27 April and Wednesday 28 April 2021.

The clinic will be open between 10am and 2pm both days. Bookings are required – call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

It is important to get tested if you have cold or flu-like symptoms and will need to stay at home while you wait for your test results – for more information see Testing for COVID-19

Update to the COVID-19 vaccine roll out

Published 22 April 2021

Changes have been made to the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in Tasmania. COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for:

  • Tasmanians aged 50 years and over - these will be available from 3 May in State Community Vaccination Clinics and from 17 May with a participating GP
  • Aboriginal Tasmanians aged between 50-54 years old - these will be available from an Aboriginal Controlled Health Service, a GP clinic or a State Community Vaccination Clinic from today.

Additionally, workers in the aged and disability care sector will now be vaccinated through the Tasmanian Vaccination Program, advice on how to book will be available over the next week.

To find out if you are currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and to make a booking visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/vaccination-information/covid-19-vaccination/getting-vaccinated or call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

If you have any questions about getting vaccinated, talk to your doctor or health care provider or visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/vaccine for further information.

New Zealand update

Published 22 April 2021

Public Health Services have advised there is no change to the current travel arrangement with New Zealand after the announcement by New Zealand Ministry of Health about a positive case of COVID-19.

People currently in Tasmania who were recently in New Zealand have been sent an SMS advising them of the three sites in the Auckland area visited by the case, a person who works as a cleaner at Auckland International Airport, and to get tested immediately should they develop any cold or flu symptoms.

Tasmanian health officials will continue to liaise with their New Zealand counterparts and monitor the situation. For more information about New Zealand situation see Travel Alert.

Commemorating ANZAC Day 

Published 14 April 2021

Anzac Day is a significant day for all Australians and is often a time for private reflection.

It is a solemn day of remembrance of those Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who have fought and died for their country and is marked annually on the anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War.

Tasmanians are encouraged to continue to mark this important national commemorative date but to also remember COVID-safe behaviours.

There are a number of ways Tasmanians can commemorate our veterans in 2021. You can attend a traditional Dawn Service, Commemorative Service or hold your own private commemorations to pay your respects.

For information about Anzac Day services in Tasmania visit www.rsltas.org.au

For more information, please contact RSL Tasmania by email at admin@rsltas.org.au or by telephone on (03) 6242 8900.

Lest we forget.

New Zealand Update

Published 12 April 2021

A number of premises and locations have been identified in New Zealand linked to current COVID-19 cases in Auckland. All travellers currently in Tasmania, who have been in New Zealand since April 10, are asked to check the latest list of premises on the New Zealand Health website.

If you have been at any of the premises or locations at the dates and times specified please call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 and advise them that you have been at the identified New Zealand premises.

All travellers should continue to monitor themselves for any cold or flu symptoms. If you develop any symptoms please call the Public Health Hotline to arrange a COVID-19 test.

AstraZeneca vaccine update

Published 08 April 2021

The Australian Government has advised that the Pfizer vaccine is now preferred over the AstraZeneca vaccine for adults aged under 50 who have not yet received a first dose of AstraZeneca.

This decision is based on advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), in response to early investigations into rare but serious adverse reactions to the vaccine.

ATAGI has recommended that people who have had their first dose of AstraZeneca without any serious side-effects can safely receive their second dose. This includes adults under 50 years.

The Tasmania Government has put an immediate hold on any first dose AstraZeneca vaccinations of people aged under 50 years. People with existing first dose appointments at community clinics will be contacted directly to discuss rescheduling their appointments. Those who have had their first dose will also be contacted directly by the Public Health Hotline.

We understand that people will be anxious for more information and that information will be provided via your vaccine clinic provider as soon as possible. We appreciate your understanding that this will take time, and we will call those with upcoming appointments as a priority. If you have an urgent query, please call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Vaccinations for our priority groups using the Pfizer vaccine and using the AstraZeneca vaccine for Tasmanians over 50, will continue as planned.  Where possible those aged under 50 years in priority group 1b will be redirected to a clinic administering the Pfizer vaccine.

For more information view FAQs AstraZeneca vaccine.

COVID-19 testing and Public Health Hotline update

There has been significant demand for COVID-19 testing and general enquiries in Tasmania in relation to the Queensland COVID-19 cases which has resulted in some delays for people calling the Public Health Hotline.

Extra staff have been deployed to the Public Health Hotline and an additional site has been opened today (Tuesday 30 March) to help manage call volume.

The hotline will stay open to 9pm tonight and tomorrow night (Tue-Wed) to enable more people to book a test.

An additional clinic is being stood up in Kingston on Wednesday 31 March. People will need to call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to book an appointment.

From Wednesday 31 March, people will need to book an appointment to attend the Launceston testing clinic rather than simply drive up. This change has been made to speed up the testing procedure and reduce traffic congestion at the site. People will need to call 1800 671 738 to book an appointment.

COVID-19 wastewater testing program to commence

Published 25 March 2021

The Tasmanian Government has announced that a wastewater testing program will be introduced as part of the ongoing surveillance efforts for COVID-19.

Due to commence in April, the program will collect samples of wastewater from across the state with samples being transported to a laboratory for testing in South Australia initially, as this capability does not currently exist in Tasmania.

Changes to tenant and landlord support measures

Published 24 March 2021

The Government has announced changes to the tenant and landlord support measures introduced in response to COVID-19.

Rental protections regarding notices to vacate, rental increases, and general repairs and maintenance ended on 31 January 2021.

From 1 April to 30 June 2021 the Government will extend the financial support already offered for residential tenancies and offer an extra round of support for tenants and landlords, through the Rental Relief Fund and Landlord Support Fund.

This will allow eligible tenancies to access up to a further $4000 of assistance.

Amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 have also been introduced to allow for rent arrears payment orders to be issued by the Residential Tenancy Commissioner to allow landlords to recoup rental arrears accrued during the COVID-19 emergency period.

For more information regarding residential tenancy changes visit the Consumer, Building and Occupational Services website.

Changes to gathering numbers at churches, places of worship and funeral homes

Published 23 March 2021

Public Health advises churches, places of worship and funeral homes will be able to have more people in attendance under changes to Public Health Directions.

Gatherings at these venues may now routinely accommodate up to 250 people or 75 per cent of their seating capacity in an indoor space, whichever is fewer.

Staff, members of the clergy, church attendants, members of the choir and anyone assisting in the provision of a church service, or in the case of a funeral, performing the funeral service, are not included in the 250-person limit.

These venues may also apply under the Events Framework to increase patron numbers above 250 people. Event organisers can apply by registering with Business Tasmania.

In indoor venues with seating where the number of people will exceed 250 people and people will be seated most of the time, the maximum number of attendees may be up to 75 per cent of seating capacity.

If having these larger numbers of people at a venue will mean the density limit will be exceeded (more than one person per two square metres of available space), venues will either need to lower the seating capacity or have attendees wear a face mask, unless exempt.

People performing the service are not required to wear face masks in such circumstances.

Venues still require a COVID-19 Safety Plan and contact tracing is required. From 1 May the Check In TAS app must be used for contact tracing purposes. If an attendee cannot use this app, they may be checked in by another attendee who can, or by the gathering organiser, or on a paper-based record managed by the organisers.

These changes brings churches, places of worship and funeral homes into line with other venues, such as cinemas, theatres and other entertainment premises.

See Gatherings, density and physical distancing for more information.

Use of Check in TAS app now mandated

Published 18 March 2021

From 1 May 2021 organisations will be required to use the free Check in TAS app to collect contact information about everyone who spends time at their premises or event.

Business, organisations and events - who haven’t already registered for Check in TAS – need to register their premises ahead of the 1 May deadline for compliance.

From this date patrons will be required to use the Check in TAS app when they visit these locations. The app is available for download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

If patrons do not have a smartphone or are unable to use one, others in their group can check them in or staff at the premises will be able to check them in manually.

Mandating the use of Check in TAS helps strengthen Tasmania’s contact tracing capability for rapid response in the event of a COVID 19 case or outbreak.

For more information see Check in TAS.

Information for people eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as part of Phase 1b

Published 18 March 2021

Bookings for people in Phase 1b vaccinations have now started.

To identify if you are in this group and to see if there is currently a vaccination clinic available to you in your area, go to Vaccine Information and Location System or call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

Additional vaccination sites are continuing to be added.

Government community clinics will be available to be booked for people in Phase 1b from tomorrow (Friday 19 March). These clinics will be located at Kingston, Brighton, New Norfolk and Mowbray. Bookings are essential.

If you live near one of these clinics you will be able to make a vaccination booking online from this time.

Remember if you are eligible for vaccination in Phase 1b and do not live near a current vaccination clinic or your GP is not offering vaccinations, further community and GP vaccination clinics will become available over coming weeks.

If you are not an existing patient of a GP clinic on the list, please do not call other GPs on the list. Other GPs will be coming on line and State vaccination clinics are being rolled out to your local government area.

If you are not currently eligible for a vaccination you can go online to register for a reminder when you are eligible to make a booking.

If you don’t have access to the internet or you require assistance with this, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

New South Wales travel alert

Published 14 March 2021

Due to a positive COVID-19 case in Sydney, NSW Health has declared a number of exposure locations– see these locations here.

If you are already in Tasmania and have been at any of these locations at the specified dates and times please self-isolate immediately and phone the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline: 1800 671 738

If you are planning to travel to Tasmania and have been at any of the exposure locations at the specified dates and times you are a close contact of a COVID-19 case and are not permitted to travel to Tasmania. You must also call the Service NSW hotline: 137 788

Keep up to date by regularly checking the travel alert page and the NSW Health website

Queensland travel alert

Published 13 March 2021

Due to a positive COVID-19 case in Brisbane, Queensland Health has declared a number of close contact locations – see these locations here.

If you are already in Tasmania and have been at any of these locations at the specified dates and times please self-isolate immediately and phone the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline: 1800 671 738

If you are planning to travel to Tasmania and have been at any of the close contact locations at the specified dates and times you are a close contact of a COVID-19 case and are not permitted to travel to Tasmania. You must also call the Queensland COVID-19 hotline: 13 43 25 84

Keep up to date by regularly checking the travel alert page and the Queensland Health website

Restrictions on visits to residential aged care facilities lifted

Friday 26 February 2021

There are no longer public health restrictions on the number of people that can visit residents in aged facilities to provide support and care; or on how long each visitor can stay, although some services may have their own visitation policies. The need for influenza vaccination has also been lifted.

Operators of residential aged care facilities must record the name, phone number and date/time for everyone (not just one person per group) who remains on site for 15 minutes or more. The easiest way to record this information, for everyone, is through the Check-in Tas app.

Visitors and workers still need to complete the aged care screening process when they arrive, and must not visit if they have any cold or flu-like symptoms, or loss of taste or smell.

While getting the yearly influenza vaccination is important, it is no longer essential for staff and visitors to residential aged care services because:

  • it is not currently available
  • when this year’s influenza vaccine does become available, it will be important to time vaccination carefully to ensure its effectiveness doesn’t wane before the height of the influenza season in August to September, and around COVID-19 vaccinations.

People in quarantine who arrived on and after 13 February

Travellers who have arrived on or after 13 February and are currently in quarantine because they had been in Victoria in the 14 days before their arrival (but not at a high-risk premises) will be able to leave quarantine once they have received approval. Anyone who arrived in Tasmania on or after 13 February and is currently in quarantine in Tasmania who was not at one of the listed high-risk premises needs to email quarantine.review@police.tas.gov.au or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to confirm this so their need to quarantine can be reassessed. Confirmations received since yesterday are currently being processed and you do not need to resubmit your information. Do not leave quarantine at any time unless you receive formal notification from the Deputy State Controller and/or Public Health Services. (The email address is a no-reply email account, officers conducting reassessments will not reply to general enquiries).

People in quarantine who arrived on or before 12 February

The designation of high-risk locations within Terminal 4 of Melbourne airport on 9 February 2021 has been changed. This is a result of the ongoing investigation of Victorian cases.

From now, the high risk premises is limited to Brunetti café including the café’s seating from 4:45am to 2pm on 9 February 2021. If you purchased food or drink or ate at the café at these times you must remain in quarantine until 23 February 2021.

If you were only in other parts of Terminal 4 on 9 February 2021, you may leave quarantine provided you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You have had at least one negative COVID-19 test on or after Friday 12 February. If you have not had a test you must have one and receive a negative result before leaving quarantine.
  • You have no symptoms of COVID-19
  • You have not been at any other Victorian high-risk premises listed on the Tasmanian Coronavirus website.

Persons to whom these changes and requirements apply have been contacted by SMS with this advice. If you believe these apply to you but have not been contacted, please ring the Public Hotline on 1800 671 738.

People who want to travel to Tasmania via Victoria after 12:01am Saturday 20 February

People arriving in Tasmania after 12:01am Saturday 20 February will not be required to quarantine on arrival as long as they have not spent time at any of the high-risk premises at the specified dates and times. These travellers should now register their travel and contact details via the Tas e-Travel system to receive a Tas e-Travel QR code.

Travellers who have spent time at any of the high-risk premises at the specific dates and times listed will not be permitted to enter Tasmania (unless approved as an Essential Traveller). The most effective way of applying for this is via the G2G system.

Entertainment venues can apply to increase patron numbers

Published 11 February 2021

Operators of Tasmanian cinemas, concert venues and theatres, and outdoor arenas and stadiums, may now apply to increase the number of people attending events in these venues. The number of people permitted to attend each venue depends on the available space, whether it is indoors or outdoors, seated or standing and mixing.

For most events, the density limit remains at one person per two square metres of available space.

For indoor entertainment venues with fixed seating, where people have to be seated most of the time, operators can apply to have the maximum number of patrons permitted to be equal to 75 per cent of the number of fixed seats provided. If that means the density limit will be exceeded, either the proportion of seats used will need to be lowered to meet the density limit OR patrons and staff will need to wear a face mask, unless exempt.

For outdoor stadiums and arenas with outdoor fixed seating areas, the maximum number of people permitted in these areas is up to 75 per cent of the fixed seats provided.

See Gatherings, density and physical distancing for more information.

Changes to tenant and landlord support measures

Published 27 January 2021

The Government has announced changes to the tenant and landlord support measures introduced in response to COVID-19.

Rental protections regarding notices to vacate, rental increases, and general repairs and maintenance will end on 31 January 2021 unless circumstances in Tasmania dramatically change.

However, from 1 February to 31 March 2021 the Government will extend the financial support already offered for residential tenancies and offer an extra round of support for tenants and landlords, through the Rental Relief Fund and Landlord Support Fund.

This will allow eligible tenancies to access up to a further $4000 of assistance.

Amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 have also been introduced to allow for rent arrears payment orders to be issued by the Residential Tenancy Commissioner to allow landlords to recoup rental arrears accrued during the COVID-19 emergency period.

For more information regarding the changes visit the Consumer, Building and Occupational Services website

Information for people transiting through NSW to access airports or seaports in Victoria

The Victorian Government has travel restrictions in place for people wanting to enter the State from NSW. For people wanting to transit through NSW to access Victorian airports or seaports an entry permit is required.

For the latest Victorian information on entry permits visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/victorian-border-crossing-permit or phone the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 and press two (2) when prompted.

Information for people wanting to enter Tasmania who have been in a high-risk area or premises

Published 18 December 2020

Travellers who have been in identified high-risk areas or premises during the specified dates and times must have prior approval to enter Tasmania. Applications to enter the State as an Essential Traveller for critical work, health, compassionate or other reasons can be made through the G2G system.

Tasmanians wanting to return home can apply through G2G and provide evidence of residency and seek to complete the 14 days required quarantine at a residential address or other suitable premises.

If granted Essential Traveller status, conditions will include undergoing a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival and being subject to compliance checks while in quarantine.

Conditions can also include the requirement to undertake quarantine in government-designated quarantine. The quarantine fee will be waived for people who travel to Tasmania from newly declared high-risk areas and premises in NSW between 16 and 23 December and are required to quarantine in government-designated accommodation.

Changes to dancing, standing and drinking alcohol and household gathering restrictions

Published 10 December 2020

Public Health advise that dancing and standing and drinking alcohol will be permitted by up to 100 people at indoor venues and 250 people in outdoor venues from 5pm Friday 11 December 2020.

The limitations on who or how many people can dance at weddings will also be eased within parameters.

If the existing density limit of one person per 2 square metres allows, there can be additional patrons in the indoor venue or an outdoor area, as long as they are not standing and drinking alcohol or dancing.

The upcoming changes do not alter the current number caps for non-residential premises – 250 in an indoor space and 1000 outdoors - or the requirement of at least 2 square meters per person.

In addition to these changes, from Friday 11 December, household gatherings of up to 100 people will be permitted.

When you are hosting a gathering at home, make sure there is plenty of room to spread out, have soap and hand sanitiser available, and most importantly, stay home if you’re unwell.

COVID-19 North West Outbreak Independent Review Report

Published 9 December 2020

The final report from the Independent Review into the COVID-19 outbreak at healthcare facilities in the North West region of Tasmania has been released.

The Independent Review was established to look into the cause of the outbreak and ensure the best possible systems and practices are in place in the event of future outbreaks.

A total of 37 recommendations were made which has been accepted by the Tasmanian Government either fully or in-principle.

A copy of the full report can be found at the Department of Premier and Cabinet website.

Up to 250 people now permitted to stand and drink outdoors in licensed premises

Published 1 December 2020

Changes to the Management of Premises Direction now allow a maximum of 250 people (within current density requirements) standing and drinking alcohol in designated outdoor spaces of premises with a liquor licence or liquor permit.

If the density limit of one person per 2 square metres allows, there can be additional patrons in the outdoor area as long as they are not standing and drinking alcohol.

Patrons in indoor parts of the premises or event can only consume alcohol while sitting down, subject to density requirements.

This cap on the number of people permitted to stand while consuming alcohol at these outdoor spaces is required because the Events Framework enables larger gathering of patrons at events. Large numbers of people mixing freely and closely while consuming alcohol are very high risk settings for spreading COVID-19.

Direction released to implement Events Framework

Published 1 December 2020

The Mass Gatherings Direction has been released to provide a legal basis for A Framework for COVID Safe Events and Activities in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Government released the Framework in October to supports organisers to plan COVID-safe gatherings from 1 December 2020 that exceed the current gathering limits.

Depending on the risk profile of the event, it will be classed as Level 1, 2 or 3, and different controls will apply depending on the level.

More information on the Framework is available here

The Framework will be reviewed over time as the rules for mass gatherings and events are updated to reflect the changing COVID-19 situation in Tasmania. The Framework will enable organisers to apply to hold an event under one of three levels.

International Seasonal Workers recruitment

Published 7 November 2020

Tasmanian agricultural businesses who are approved employers under the Australian Government’s Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), can now apply to recruit workers from some overseas locations, to supplement the local workforce.

To be permitted to source international workers, Tasmanian agricultural businesses must demonstrate that they have already attempted to recruit from within Tasmania and have a critical need for more workers.

If approved, these workers can arrive in Australia from overseas and transit directly to Hobart via an interstate airport to complete 14 days quarantine in Government-designated accommodation. Testing and safety protocols will apply.

For more information and to apply, visit the DPIPWE website.

International mercy flights

Published 7 November 2020

Tasmania will assist in the national effort to help vulnerable Australians overseas return home with a number to undertake their quarantine in Tasmania from later this month.

Upon arrival in Tasmania, travellers will undertake 14 days quarantine in Government-designated hotel quarantine facilities with services provided to ensure security on site as well as health and other services for the returning Australians while they are in quarantine. COVID-19 testing will be undertaken of all travellers prior to their arrival in Tasmania.

Travellers will include people who are in poor health, have lost their jobs, have exhausted their finances, have limited English or are returning home for compassionate reasons.

Once their quarantine is complete, travellers will be able to leave Tasmania if they wish, within the border restrictions of other jurisdictions.

While also enabling the safe return and quarantining of Australian citizens, this approach also recognises the recent successful quarantine of international Antarctic expeditioners. This process demonstrated Tasmania's capacity to provide the security, support services and infection control practices required to manage high-risk arrivals.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.