Public hospital patient visitation

Visiting public hospital patients

A COVID-19 Visitor Policy has been developed for Tasmania’s Public Hospitals and Clinics. The Policy places some restrictions on who can visit and when they can visit, as well as measures all visitors should apply to reduce the risk of COVID-19 being passed on to patients in hospital. This is important because of the vulnerable nature of many patients to COVID-19 – particularly as they recover from other illnesses or while undergoing treatment.

Under the Policy, unless you are seeking personal medical treatment or care, members of the public should not visit hospital, outpatient departments or clinic sites if they have:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • gastrointestinal symptoms
  • been advised to self isolate following international or interstate travel or COVID-19 testing.

All visitors will be required to complete a visitor screening tool prior to entering the hospital.

All visitors will be required to follow guidelines such as washing hands prior to and after leaving the ward, covering coughs and sneezes and maintaining physical distancing (at least 1.5 metres) while at the hospital.

Restrictions are in place for specific hospital wards. See the table below for more information.

Intending visitors to private hospitals should contact the hospital directly to find out their policy in relation to visitors.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours are restricted to 2pm-6pm daily.

To provide additional safeguards to patients, the following restrictions will also be in place:

  1. Visitors will be limited to a maximum of one per patient at any one time (note Visitor Exceptions below for specific hospital wards or locations).
  2. The use of alternative methods of communication ie telephone or FaceTime/Skype to stay connected with families/carers/social networks should be encouraged.
  3. Visitors should not congregate in common areas or use kitchenettes/pantries/other shared areas across the organisation.
  4. Visitors within multi-bed rooms should be monitored to ensure adherence to social distancing principles.

Please note exceptions to this may be negotiated at unit management level (Nurse Unit Manager) with consideration on a case-by-case basis. Contact the Nurse Unit Manager at the hospital if seeking an exception.

Visitor numbers for wards

Area / ward

Number of visitors

Outpatient clinics and community centres

Support person only

Department of Critical Care Medicine

Two visitors will be allowed at any one time

Emergency Department

One visitor per patient

Neonatal Intensive Care

Parents / carers have unrestricted visiting with a maximum of two people visiting

Compassionate situation – exemptions may be applied for siblings

Paediatric Unit

Parents / carers have unrestricted visiting with a maximum of two people visiting

Maternity Unit

An upper limit of two people to support mothers in the maternity unit (this limit of two includes the partner, if the partner is present).

Operating Theatre and Recovery Room

Visitors not routinely allowed. Parents may visit children post-surgery

Short Stay Surgical Unit

One support person permitted

Palliative Care

An upper limit of four visitors for patients receiving end-of-life care, and the capacity for one visitor to stay overnight and for pets to visit where appropriate

See Hospital FAQs for more information.