Keeping yourself safe

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2020 5:07pm

Last update: 04 Apr 2020 11:53am

Prevent the spread

Personal hygiene is an important protection against COVID-19 and all respiratory illnesses. You can help slow the spread of illness by:

  • washing your hands often with soap and warm, running water (or alcohol-base hand rub), especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • using a tissue (or flexed elbow if a tissue is not readily available) to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, then putting the tissue in the rubbish
  • staying at home if you are sick, unless you are told to see a doctor
  • keeping two large steps from others if you can, when you are out in public
  • wearing a facemask if you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms and need to be around other people (for example, to access arranged medical care)
  • knowing the signs of illness.

Hand hygiene

Practising good hand hygiene is your best defence.

How to wash

  • Use soap and warm, running water if you can.
  • Make sure the soap and water get on your whole hand – palms, backs of hands, thumbs, fingertips, wrists and the webbing between your fingers.
  • Rub your hands for 15–20 seconds, or for as long as it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song slowly.
  • Rinse and dry well.

When to wash

  • After coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose.
  • Before touching your face, especially your mouth, lips, nose, eyes.
  • Before eating, drinking, preparing food/drinks.
  • After caring for someone who is unwell.
  • After going to the toilet.
  • After handling money, especially if you’re eating or handling food.

General household and workplace cleaning

Cleaning is an important way to slow the spread of viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.

For frequently touched surfaces like doorhandles, tabletops, desks, light switches, railings, shared keyboards and mice, taps and handles:

  • Clean these surfaces frequently, making sure you remove any visible dirt and organic matter so that the disinfectant can work well.
  • Regularly wipe the surface using your normal household or workplace detergent/disinfectant, following the instructions on the label.
  • It’s okay to use detergent wipes, as long as the cleaning process is thorough and removes visible dirt/organic matter.

Surfaces that are less often touched:

  • Clean these surfaces at least when they start to look dusty or dirty and immediately after any spillage or contamination.
  • Use your normal household or workplace detergent, following the instructions on the label.
  • It’s okay to use detergent wipes, as long as the cleaning process is thorough and removes visible dirt/organic matter.
  • Damp mopping is better than dry.

Social distancing

Social distancing means increasing physical space between you and other people. It is important to exercise social distancing because COVID-19 is most likely to spread by close contact with an infected person, or by contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. So, the more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

For more information see the Guide to social distancing.

Last update: 05 Apr 2020 11:08am

Social distancing includes way to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people.

Social distancing is important because COVID-19 is most likely to spread by close contact with an infected person, or by contact with droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze. The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

What should I do?

  • If you are sick, stay at home. If children are sick, do not send them to school. These are the most important steps you can take.
  • Minimise physical contact, such as shaking hands and kissing to greet others.
  • Keep two steps away (more than 1.5 metres) from others when you are out in public.
  • Unless essential, avoid places and gatherings with many people.
  • Consider using online services where possible (e.g. pay bills online).
  • At work, hold large meetings via video conferencing, phone call or in the open air if possible.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water and dry them.
  • Use a tissue (or in the inside of your elbow) to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Be sure to put the tissue in the rubbish bin straight after use.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as desks, benches, light switches and door handles regularly.

At home

  • Increase ventilation in the home by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
  • Visit shops sparingly and buy goods and services online where possible.
  • Care for sick people in a single room if possible. Keep the sick person’s door closed and open the window.
  • Protect those at risk of severe illness, including people over 60 years and those with a serious underlying illness, e.g. heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, renal failure.

In the workplace

  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Defer large meetings or use phone and video conferencing for essential meetings.
  • Avoid crowded lunchrooms.
  • Consider opening windows and adjusting air conditioning for more ventilation.
  • Reconsider non-essential business travel.
  • Promote strictest hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts.

Flatten the curve

Collective action can limit the rise of new COVID-19 infections and help hospitals manage increased demand for care. See diagram below explaining why it’s important we all do our bit to try to flatten the curve.

Last update: 05 Apr 2020 11:01am

Should I use facemasks

If you are well, you do not need to wear a facemask to protect yourself from COVID-19.

Facemasks are generally for people who are suspected or known to have the virus and people in close contact (within a metre) of someone suspected or known to be infected. This is normally only healthcare workers and carers.

People who are sick with COVID-19 should wear a facemask (if they can) when they need to leave self-isolation, for example when they get tested or go to see a doctor.

How to use facemasks safely

Be careful to use facemasks properly. Follow the steps below to help protect others around you:

  • If given masks by your GP, leave the masks in a zip-lock bag until you need to use them.
  • Before putting on a facemask, wash your hands all over with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub. Dry your hands well.
  • To put the mask on, cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Tie it in place.
  • Once your mask is on, don’t touch it. If you do touch it, wash your hands all over with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Replace the mask with a new one if it gets damp. Do not reuse masks.
  • To remove the mask: undo the straps and remove the mask without touching the front of it. Put it straight in the rubbish. Wash your hands all over with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub. Dry your hands well.

Last update: 07 Apr 2020 10:45am

Cleaning to slow the spread of illness

How COVID-19 spreads

COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person to person through:

  • direct contact with a person while they are infectious (while they are sick and in the 24 hours before they got sick)
  • contact with droplets when an infectious person near you coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth and nose
  • touching objects or surfaces that were recently contaminated with the virus from an uncovered cough or sneeze from a person with the infection, and then touching your mouth or face.
  • Hand hygiene and cleaning are important ways to slow the spread of illness.

Hand hygiene

Hand washing facilities with liquid soap (not soap bars) and paper towel is essential. Alcohol-based hand rub in common areas, entry and exit points and areas where hand washing facilities are not available, is also good practice.

Frequent hand hygiene will help prevent the spread of illness, including colds, influenza, stomach bugs and COVID-19.

Hand hygiene instructional posters are available on the Resources page.

Routine cleaning

Simple cleaning measures will also help prevent the spread of illness.

Cleaning is an essential part of disinfection because dirt and grime can inactivate many disinfectants. Cleaning reduces the amount of dirt and so allows the disinfectant to work. Removal of germs such as the virus that causes COVID-19 requires thorough cleaning followed by disinfection.

Coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for many hours but are readily inactivated by cleaning and disinfection.

Cleaning frequency

Increase frequency of cleaning for:

  • frequently-touched surfaces, like desks, reception counters, key pads, benches, tables, door handles, railings, kettle and microwave handles, backs and arms of chairs
  • shared bathrooms/toilets and communal kitchen areas
  • For staff who share equipment or ‘hot-desk’, instruct them to clean equipment (including shared phones, keyboards, mice) and desk surfaces after and before use.

General principles for cleaning staff

  • Ensure adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, cleaning equipment and solution.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose and eyes, when cleaning.
  • Clean from higher to lower surfaces/items and from cleaner to dirty items/surfaces.
  • Ensure waste bins are regularly emptied and not left to overflow.
  • For routine surface and item cleaning, use your normal workplace cleaning products and instructions, including safety recommendations, on the label.
  • For blood or body fluid spills or gross contamination with respiratory secretions, wear disposable gloves and consider a disposable apron and eye protection/mask/face shield.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water (or use alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not soiled) before putting on and after removing gloves.
  • Dispose of gloves and other personal protection equipment straight after use and wash your hands.
  • Seek advice from work health and safety consultants on correct procedures for wearing personal protective equipment.

Cleaning after a suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19

Removal of germs such as the virus that causes COVID-19 requires thorough cleaning followed by disinfection.

Before anything can be disinfected, the surface or item must be clean so the disinfectant can work. This means:

  • using a detergent to clean the surface and then using a disinfectant; or
  • using a 2-in-1 product to clean and disinfect at the same time; these products are preferred in healthcare facilities.
  • At a minimum, wear the following personal protective equipment (PPE) when preparing chemicals and during cleaning:
    • protective eyewear or face shield
    • gloves
    • plastic apron.
  • Use a detergent followed by a disinfectant for all cleaning (or a 2-in-1 product as above). The recommended disinfectant is 1000 parts per million (ppm) of bleach/chlorine. Always use freshly-made solutions.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning products, including appropriate dilution and contact time for disinfectant solutions and the cleaning technique when using wipes.
  • Wipe the surface or item using a disposable cloth.
  • After cleaning:
    • remove personal protective equipment
    • wash hands using soap and water and pat hands dry with paper towel; alternatively, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub.

Preparation and use of cleaning products for COVID-19

Change PPE when it is visibly contaminated or when going from an area or surface that is dirty to clean, eg going from an area potentially contaminated by COVID-19 to another area, or going from a toilet block to work stations.

Last update: 05 Apr 2020 11:09am

Essential information for people who smoke

COVID-19 is a virus that causes respiratory disease. If you smoke, you are more vulnerable to respiratory disease. Now is a good time for you to stop smoking.

How does COVID-19 impact your health if you smoke?

Smoking damages the lungs so they don’t work as well. If you smoke, it is possible that you will experience greater ill-health and may be at higher risk of complications or a severe case of COVID-19 if you do become infected.

Reasons to stop smoking

Smoking can contribute to spreading the virus

If you smoke, it is likely that your fingers will touch your lips more often. This can make you more vulnerable to COVID-19. Stopping smoking will improve your hand-to-mouth hygiene and reduce the spread of the virus.

Smoking impacts the health of others

If you smoke and are self-isolating at home with your family, their risk of exposure to second-hand smoke will increase. Stopping smoking will remove this risk. This is good for their health too.

Smoking impacts access to healthcare

Health services will be limited as COVID-19 spreads. Stopping smoking means you will be healthier and in time, less vulnerable to smoking-related health problems. This will leave health services more able to focus on people who are sick from COVID-19.

Smoking is expensive

Stopping smoking will save you and your family money.

Smoking and stress

Like many other people who smoke, you may believe that smoking relieves your stress. However, smoking only relieves the stress of nicotine withdrawal. It does not relieve any other stress, in fact it increases it.

If you stop smoking, after some initial withdrawal symptoms (which can be reduced with medications and nicotine replacement therapies) you will feel less stressed over time.

What can you do now to improve your health?

Stopping smoking will improve your lung function within a few months. This will reduce the likelihood of severe lung complications if you do get COVID-19. Stopping smoking has many benefits beyond any link with COVID-19.  Now is a good time for you to stop smoking.

Last update: 08 Apr 2020 3:41pm

To help slow the spread of coronavirus and to keep all Tasmanians safe, Tasmanians should only be going to retail stores and shopping centres to purchase essential supplies.

While retailers will have practices in place to ensure adequate social distancing in their stores, it is your responsibility to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres between yourself and any other person, where it is safe and possible to do so.

Tips before you go shopping

  • Do not go to the shops if you are unwell
  • Shop by yourself where possible. Shopping is not a family outing.
  • Limit your visits to the shops to as few times per week as possible, and make a shopping list to make sure your visit is a quick one
  • Consider an alternative, such as online shopping and delivery, where possible
  • Wash your hands before you go shopping

Be prepared

  • Make a list before you go

While at a retail store or shopping centre

  • When queuing, keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others
  • Look out for markings on the ground and ensure that you follow them. Do not crowd others.
  • Be patient and tolerant of other customers - shopping may take longer than usual.
  • Be kind to shop staff and maintain your distance from them. Use a card to pay rather than cash if possible.
  • Follow any hygiene directions posted at the entry to stores.
  • Be mindful of frequently touched surfaces such as trolleys and shopping baskets.

General hygiene

  • Use a tissue (or the inside of your elbow) to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Be sure to put the tissue in the rubbish bin straight after use
  • Wash and dry your hands before and after shopping

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It’s every Tasmanians role to comply with the rules to keep Tasmania safe.

If you are concerned that a fellow Tasmanian is not complying with self-isolation or gathering restrictions, you can call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 or report it online.

Last update: 09 Apr 2020 9:54am

I’m sick and think I might have COVID-19

If you think you might have COVID-19 because you feel unwell with a fever OR cough, sore throat or shortness of breath AND have recently travelled internationally or interstate OR had contact with a confirmed case, check our Self-Assessment Tool to see if you should seek medical advice and be tested.

Phone the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 or your GP if you are worried. Tell them about your symptoms and recent travel. If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. Tell the operator and the ambulance officer about your recent travel.

If you go to see your GP, you must call ahead and mention your symptoms and recent travel.

I’m sick and I’m a healthcare / aged care worker

All healthcare workers and aged care workers who provide direct patient care who get sick with fever (≥38˚C) or history of fever (eg night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (eg shortness of breath, cough, sore throat), with or without recent travel or contact with a confirmed case, are defined as suspected cases.

You should not go to work. You should self-isolate and phone your GP or the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 immediately for advice.

I’m sick but haven’t travelled or had contact with a confirmed case (and I’m not a healthcare worker)

While COVID-19 is causing a lot of concern, it is important to remember that most people in Australia who are unwell are suffering from the usual viruses in our community.

See your GP if you feel you need to, or call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. If you suddenly get a lot worse and are worried, call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.

You can also use healthdirect's online Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker for advice on what to do next.

I’m sick but do not have a regular GP

If you think you might have COVID-19 but don't have a regular GP/your own doctor, call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

What if I’m from overseas and I’m not eligible for Medicare

Overseas travellers who get sick in Australia (and are not eligible for Medicare) often have health or travel insurance.

For those who do not have adequate insurance coverage, Tasmanian hospitals will waive the costs of treatment and testing for COVID-19. This includes waiving payment and debt recovery procedures for ambulance transfers of people suspected to have coronavirus (COVID-19), who are taken to Tasmanian hospitals for assessment.

These arrangements have been put in place to ensure payment issues are not a barrier for people from overseas with symptoms of COVID-19 seeking early medical advice.

Last update: 01 Apr 2020 8:56pm

What is a close contact

A close contact is someone who:

  • spends at least 15 minutes in face-to-face contact with someone who’s had a positive test result; or
  • spends more than 2 hours in an enclosed room with someone who’s had a positive test result.

Any other contact is deemed low risk.

Coronavirus cases related to tourism and hospitality businesses

Public Health Services has advised a number of Tasmanian tourism  and hospitality businesses of two interstate visitors being diagnosed with coronavirus  after returning home.

The two people travelled together as part of an organised  tour of Tasmania from 12 to 23 March.

If Tasmanians were at these locations on these days and have developed respiratory symptoms in  the 14 days afterwards, they should contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

The locations are:

  • Hobart City Travel Lodge (12-19 March)
  • Gray Line tour bus from Hobart to Port Arthur  (morning of 13 March)
  • Port Arthur Historic Site and visitor centre (13  March)
  • Carnarvon Bay ‘Navigators’ boat tour (afternoon  of 13 March)
  • Female Factory Site, South Hobart (morning of 14  March)
  • Cascade Gardens, South Hobart (morning of 14  March)
  • MONA ferry from Hobart (1.15pm, 14 March)
  • MONA (1.30 to 4pm, 14 March)
  • Peppermint Bay Cruise and Restaurant (15 March)
  • Freycinet Marine Farm (16 March)
  • Kate’s Berry Farm (16 March)
  • Pennicott Cruises on Bruny Island (17 March)
  • Female Factory, South Hobart (18 March)
  • Grape Food and Wine Bar, Salamanca (18 March)
  • Launceston Leisure Inn (19-23 March)
  • Bridestowe Lavender Farm (20 March)
  • Pyengana Cheese Factory (20 March)
  • Lease 65, St Helens (20 March)
  • Batman Bridge River Cruise, run by Tamar River  Cruises (21 March)
  • Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Waldheim  Chalet (22 March)
  • Ashgrove Tasmanian Farm (22 March)

Public Health Services is working with the tour operator to  obtain more specific details about transport taken by the people while in  Tasmania and will provide this additional information as soon as it is  available.

I’ve been on the Ruby Princess cruise ship

We’re aware NSW has been in contact with passengers who were on that ship. Public Health Services (PHS) Tasmania will also be in touch as soon as possible. Please self-isolate at home until you hear from PHS Tasmania.

If you are very unwell and need an ambulance, let Ambulance Tasmania know you have been told to self-isolate because of your recent international travel, including that you were on the Ruby Princess.

Last update: 09 Apr 2020 6:21pm

Who can be tested for COVID-19

There are strict national guidelines about who should be tested for COVID-19 because of global shortages of testing resources. There is no point testing people who are not sick.

North-West Tasmania has been designated as a geographical localised area with risk of community transmission. Testing criteria for people in this region has changed.

If you have a fever ≥38°C (or signs of a fever, eg night sweats, chills) OR respiratory symptoms (eg cough, shortness of breath or sore throat) AND you have spent time in North-West Tasmania in the 14 days before your symptoms started, you should call your GP or the Public Health Hotline as you may need to be tested for COVID-19.

Where can I be tested

Testing for COVID-19 is only available at a few places in Tasmania. If you meet national guidelines for testing, your doctor or Public Health Services will tell you where you need to go. You’ll need to book an appointment to have the test done. You will need to wear a mask to your appointment.

I’m being tested. What do I need to know? has more information about the process for testing for COVID-19.

Coronavirus respiratory clinics

Four respiratory clinics have opened in Tasmania to help meet the demand for COVID-19 testing. The clinics are located in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Latrobe.

These clinics are not open for walk-up testing. Anyone who thinks they may need testing should contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. Your GP can also refer you for testing if you meet national guidelines.

After being tested, you will be instructed to return home to self-isolate until you’ve been told your test result. Results will usually be available within 48 hours.

Those who are in self-isolation after close contact with a case or travelling to Tasmania from interstate or overseas must complete their 14 day isolation, even if they have a negative test result.

How and when will I get my test results

The clinic that conducted your test or your GP will call you with your results. It usually takes at least 48 hours.

Please do not call the Public Health Hotline for your test results as they do not have this information.

I’ve had a negative test result but I’m getting worse

See your GP or call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. If you are severely unwell, call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.

I want to be tested even though I’m not sick

The national approach is to test people who are unwell and have recently travelled overseas, interstate or been on a cruise ship, or been in contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19. There is no value in testing people who are not sick. There is a global shortage of testing resources.

Last update: 08 Apr 2020 12:43pm

Where do I get tested

Your doctor, clinic or Public Health Services will advise you of the time and location of your test.

How do I get there

It’s important to protect others. If you don’t have private transport, tell your GP, the clinic or phone the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for advice and help.

Do not catch a bus or use a taxi or Uber.

If you travel by private car/vehicle:

  • minimise the number of people in the car with you;
  • wear a facemask to protect anyone else in your car (facemasks work best when worn by people who are sick, not people who are healthy);
  • wash your hands often and thoroughly, with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand rub), and tell people traveling with you to wash their hands often;
  • drive straight to the place you need to have the test done; don’t stop anywhere on the way there or the way back.

What will the test involve and how will I get the results

To test for the virus, a healthcare worker will take swabs from your nose and throat. To protect themselves when they are in close contact with you, they will wear a facemask and safety goggles. The swabs will be sent for testing.

When your results are ready, you will be contacted by the clinic or GP that conducted your test. This will usually take 1–2 days. If you have a positive result, Public Health Services will also contact you.

What do I need to do while I'm waiting for my results

You must stay at home in isolation. Do not go to work or school, shops or any other social gatherings.

Ask a friend or family to help with essential tasks outside your home, including getting food and other essential supplies for you, and to leave supplies on your doorstep rather than come into the house. If you need help with this, call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Cover coughs and sneezes

If you don’t have a tissue, use the inside of your elbow. Put used tissues in the rubbish straight after use (don’t keep germs in your pocket!) and wash your hands.

Wash and dry your hands often

Wash with with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub. Viruses can survive for short periods of time on surfaces and can spread through hand contact.

Keep your distance or wear a mask

If you share your home with people, consider if they can stay elsewhere. Otherwise, stay away from shared spaces, like the kitchen. Practice social distancing. Stay at least 1.5 metres (two big steps) away from other household members at all times.

Sleep in a separate bed and use a separate bathroom if you can. Keep personal items like towels, face washers and toothbrushes separate. Do not share food or drinks. Wear a facemask if there are people around you at home.

Do not have visitors when you are in isolation, even if they are in isolation as well. Let your family, friends and neighbours know you are in isolation, and tell them not to visit. Consider putting a note on your door to let people know.

If you live in a private home, you can go outside to your garden. If you live in an apartment, you can go onto your balcony.

Know when and how to seek further help

Call your doctor if you are concerned about your health. If you have trouble breathing or become very sick, call 000 for an ambulance straight away. Tell them you’ve been tested for coronavirus.

What happens when I get the results

If you have a negative result, you can leave isolation unless you’ve been told to stay in isolation for 14 days and those 14 days have not finished. People who need to stay in isolation for 14 days include those who travelled interstate or overseas, or have been in ‘close contact’ with a confirmed case.

If you have a positive result, you will need to stay in isolation, unless you need medical care. Public Health Services will contact you with more information on your ongoing care, including how to look after yourself and protect others.

Last update: 09 Apr 2020 6:11pm

Who needs to self-isolate

You must self-isolate for 14 days if you:

  1. Have arrived in Australia*
  2. Have arrived in Tasmania**
  3. Have been in ‘close contact’ with a confirmed case.

*Every person arriving in Australia from overseas is required to enter a 14 day period of self-isolation at their point of arrival into Australia.

**Every person arriving in Tasmania, including Tasmanian residents, (with the exception of Essential Travellers) is required to enter a 14 day period of self-isolation in government provided accommodation on arrival in Tasmania.

See Coming to Tasmania for more information on Tasmanian border restrictions and self-isolation requirements.

What does ‘self-isolate’ mean

During the 14 days of self-isolation, you must stay at home or in your accommodation, except to access important, arranged medical care. Don’t go to public places, including work, school, childcare, university, shops or attend public gatherings. Only people who usually live with you should be in the home. Do not see visitors.

What do I need to do

If you’ve been told to self-isolate and are not required to stay in government provided accommodation, you must stay at your home or accommodation (unless you need medical care).

You cannot attend public places, including:

  • work
  • supermarkets and chemists
  • school, childcare, university
  • places of worship.

Only people who usually live with you should be in your home. Don’t have visitors, even if they are in self-isolation as well. Let your family, friends and neighbours know you are in self-isolation and tell them not to visit. Consider putting a note on your door to let people know.

If you are in a hotel, avoid contact with other guests and staff.

How long do I need to be in self-isolation

You need to be in self-isolation for 14 days upon arrival in Tasmania.

If you don’t develop any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in that time, you can stop your self-isolation and return to your normal daily activities including going to work or school. You don’t need a clearance certificate to return to work or school.

If you meet the criteria for Essential Traveller status you may be exempted from the 14 day self-isolation requirement but you must still comply with the listed isolation conditions in the direction made by the Director of Health under Section 16 of the Public Health Act 1997.

Why do you have to self-isolate for 14 days

If you have been required to self-isolate it is because you might become unwell with coronavirus. It can take up to 14 days for people who have been infected with the virus to become sick, and it’s possible to spread the virus to others 24 hours before you feel sick.

Self-isolating is very important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Tasmania. If you have been told to self-isolate at home, you must do so. Breaching the self-isolation process may incur a penalty of up to $16,800 or face the possibility of up to six months jail time.

You should monitor your health during this time, and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 if you begin to feel unwell.

See Self-isolation FAQs for more information.

How to travel to home isolation if you need to use public transport

When travelling to your home to start your isolation period, use private transport if you can, to protect others, and go straight there.

If you need to use public transport (buses, taxis, ride-hail services), you must:

  • Wear a surgical facemask, if you can.
  • Wash your hands before boarding and after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose.
  • Try to keep away from others, especially elderly people.
  • Keep your hands to yourself as much as possible; minimise the things you touch.
  • Avoid direct contact with other passengers and drivers.
  • Cough / sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow; and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

See Self-isolation FAQs for more information.

Looking after your normal health needs with your doctor

It is important that Tasmanian’s continue to access their usual health care so they remain well during the COVID-19 pandemic. General practices are still open but you may notice some differences being made to keep everyone safe. Phone your general practice to find out their arrangements.

You may be offered telehealth. This means that you can have your consultation by phone or video-conference where it is clinically appropriate.

Face-to-face appointments are still available and necessary in some instances.

When you make your appointment, the practice will provide you instructions on how they are running their face-to-face appointments.

Changes to keep everyone safe may include things like:

  • Asking you to stay in your car when you arrive to support your social distancing
  • Providing instructions on wearing a mask if it is needed
  • Running fever and respiratory clinics separate to other general practice appointments

Changes of this type allow you and others to access advice from your usual health care providers in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Look after yourself and your mind

Being confined to your home can cause boredom and stress. Look after yourself and others by:

  • Talking with family and friends.
  • Reflecting on how you have coped with difficult situations in the past and reassuring yourself that you will cope with this situation too. Remember that self-isolation won’t last for long.
  • Exercising regularly. Consider exercise DVDs, dancing, floor exercises, yoga, walking around the backyard or using home exercise equipment. Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress and boredom and stay healthy.
  • Keeping in touch with family members and friends by telephone, email or social media.
  • Keeping up a normal daily routine as much as possible.
  • Working from home, if possible.

See Coping with self-isolation to understand what to expect, how to look after yourself and others, and where to get help.

I have information/concerns about non-compliance with self-isolation requirements

It’s every Tasmanian’s role to comply with the rules to keep Tasmania safe.

If you have information or concerns regarding non-compliance with self-isolation requirements, you can report it by filling out this form.

Last update: 07 Apr 2020 5:58pm

Can I leave self-isolation to access medical care?

You can leave self-isolation to access arranged medical care when this is supported by your healthcare provider and it cannot safely or feasibly be postponed. You must contact your healthcare provider beforehand and let them know you are in self-isolation for COVID-19. Your healthcare provider will determine if your appointment can be deferred and will provide advice on safe travel if the appointment proceeds.

For these purposes, medical care includes:

  • Antenatal appointments
  • Specialist appointments
  • Outpatient clinic appointments
  • Urgent primary care appointments with your doctor that cannot be safely postponed
  • Urgent and emergency transport to hospital.

I’m in self-isolation and need to get some groceries/go to the chemist

It is very important that you don’t leave your home while you’re in self-isolation. If possible, ask a neighbour, family member or friend to help you. Some supermarkets and greengrocers also provide a home-delivery service for groceries. Tell them to leave supplies on your doorstep and not to come into the house.

If this isn't an option, you should contact the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for emergency assistance.

If you urgently need medication, a pharmacist may be able to supply certain medicines without prescription if you don't have access to your valid prescription or are unable to see your usual doctor. Contact your local pharmacy to discuss your needs.

Can I leave the house (e.g. to walk the dog or for daily exercise)?

If you are in self-isolation, no – you need to stay on your property.

If you are not in self-isolation then you are still able to leave the property. There is no need to wear a facemask if you are well. It is a requirement to observe the public health advice regarding social distancing at all times.

What should I do if I become unwell after leaving self-isolation?

While COVID-19 is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying symptoms such as fever, cough and sore throat are much more likely to be suffering from a cold or other respiratory illness – not COVID-19.

However, as a precaution, if you do develop these symptoms soon after leaving self-isolation, see your doctor.

What if I share my home/accommodation with others?

It’s particularly important to protect people who are at higher risk of severe illness. That’s older people (people over the age of 60 years) and people with serious underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes and renal failure.

If you live with someone at risk of severe illness, it’s best if they live elsewhere while you are in self-isolation. If that’s not feasible, keep as much distance as possible between yourself and them.

If you share your home/accommodation with others:

  • Try to stay away from shared spaces, like the kitchen and lounge room.
  • Wash and dry your hands often and well, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover all coughs and sneezes. If you don’t have a tissue handy, use the inside of your elbow. Put used tissues in the rubbish straight away and wash your hands well.
  • Sleep in a separate bed and use a separate bathroom, if you can.
  • Keep personal items like towels, face washers and toothbrushes separate.
  • Do not share food or drinks.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces (like door handles, sink taps and benches) in shared areas at least daily, using normal household detergent or disinfectant.
  • Wear a facemask if you need to be around other people at home

If the person you live with who is in self-isolation is well (i.e does not have coronavirus or symptoms of coronavirus), you are not required to self-isolate. It’s acceptable to go to undertake essential activities away from the home as normal (e.g. go to work/school, seek medical care or shop for essential supplies).

Though you do not need to isolate you should practice strict social distancing at all times. It is important that you adhere to good hygiene and avoid contact with the person who is self-isolating at your home.

If the person who you live with gets sick and becomes a confirmed case, then you will need to self-isolate for 14 days. If you don’t get sick in that time, you’ll be free to leave home isolation. Remember, it is important that the person who is self isolating in your home remains in isolation for the duration of the 14 day period. You may offer them support, where possible, such as bringing them essential goods or providing them meals so as to minimise the possibility of contact in shared spaces.

I live with someone who’s in self-isolation. Do I need to self-isolate too?

If the person you live with who is in self-isolation is well (i.e does not have coronavirus or symptoms of coronavirus), you are not required to self-isolate. It’s acceptable to go to undertake essential activities away from the home as normal (e.g. go to work/school, seek medical care or shop for essential supplies).

Though you do not need to isolate you should practice strict social distancing at all times. It is important that you adhere to good hygiene measures such as frequent hand washing and avoid contact with the person who is self-isolating at your home.

If the person who you live with gets sick and becomes a confirmed case, then you will need to self-isolate for 14 days. If you don’t get sick in that time, you’ll be free to leave home isolation.

Remember, it is important that the person who is self-isolating in your home remains in isolation for the duration of the 14 day period. You may offer them support, where possible, such as bringing them essential goods or providing them meals so as to minimise the possibility of contact in shared spaces.

I live with someone who’s in self-isolation and I’m at risk of severe illness (elderly, or underlying health condition like heart disease or cancer). How can I protect myself?

People can spread the virus to others up to 24 hours before they show signs of being sick, so it’s important to protect yourself. If you have an option of living elsewhere while the person is in self-isolation that would be wise.

Otherwise:

  • Try to keep your distance from the person in self-isolation. Stay in separate rooms if you can and use separate bathrooms.
  • If you need to share a bathroom, keep toothbrushes and face washers / towels separate.
  • Don’t share drinks or food.
  • Wash your hands after touching crockery or cutlery used by the person in home isolation.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before touching your face and preparing food/drinks or eating.

Can I move between two addresses during the self-isolation period?

If you are self-isolating at home, you need to remain in or on your primary residence until your period of isolation has ended.  You should not change your address or leave the State during your isolation period, unless authorised.

Can I go outside?

If you live in a private house, you can go outside into your garden, balcony or courtyard.

If you live in an apartment or unit, you can go onto your balcony. You can go to the shared garden if you wear a facemask to protect others and move quickly through common areas.

I'm caring for a child in self-isolation

Ask your child’s teachers to supply assignments, work sheets and homework by post or email, and if your child can join classes online.

Treating self-isolation as an opportunity to do some of those things you never usually have time for, such as board games, craft, drawing and reading.

See here for information on how to talk to your child about COVID-19.

Last update: 09 Apr 2020 6:10pm

What to expect

Self-isolation can affect people in different ways. You may experience:

Shock (feeling numb)

Body reactions (feeling sick)

Thoughts (feeling confused)

Emotions (fear/anger or sadness)

Behaviour (cannot sleep, changes to diet)

Attitudes (feelings of guilt or failure)

Social (avoiding people or needing to talk about it)

How to look after yourself

  • Keep in touch with people you trust via telephone, email or social media
  • Talk about it
  • Exercise indoors
  • Give yourself time
  • Try to relax
  • Breathe slowly
  • Remember that self-isolation is temporary.

How to look after others

  • Listen to their worries, ask what is important to them
  • Reassure children using age-appropriate language
  • Offer to assist with simple things
  • Let them show their feelings
  • Give them time to adjust
  • Reassure them about safety and security
  • Remind them to eat.

You are not alone

Seek help if:

  • you are worried
  • you have no-one to talk to
  • your physical feelings worry you
  • you continue to feel upset.

Do not wait until you are not coping. You can talk to someone now.

Where to get help

In an emergency, always call Triple Zero (000).

Last update: 07 Apr 2020 5:48pm

Home isolation periods and/or the spread of COVID-19 can be stressful and may leave you feeling concerned. There are a range of support services available, including talking to a counsellor or other mental health professional.

See Looking after your mental health during COVID-19.

Head to Health

The Head to Health website provides links to trusted Australian mental health online and phone supports, resources and treatment options. It also has online programs and forums, as well as a range of digital information resources.

Using the search page, you can navigate to various resources and services for help if you’re experiencing mental health concerns, or trying to support someone else. If you’re not sure where to start, you can also use Sam the Chatbot. Sam provides tailored recommendations on information and services that best suit your needs.

Where to get help

Last update: 07 Apr 2020 5:00pm

It is normal to feel stressed and worried where there is an outbreak of an infectious disease like the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Health events like these can cause uncertainty and anxiety which can impact our mental health and wellbeing. This is especially common during the early stages of an outbreak when there is commonly a lot of uncertainty about the nature of the disease, its scope and potential impact.

This emotional distress is understandable and can affect anyone in the community who is concerned about the virus, while people who are in self-isolation, people in quarantine and people who have received a diagnosis may have deeper concerns.

For most people the distress is tolerable and short-lived and can be improved with the care and support of families and the community, while others may require more professional support and specialised mental health support to stay on track.

Staying mentally healthy and taking care of yourself and your family during infectious disease outbreak is important and can help you and your family manage emotional distress.

The most important thing you can do is to maintain basic hygiene and preventive measures including

  • frequent handwashing
  • covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
  • washing your hands often with soap and water
  • using alcohol based hand sanitisers.

If you are sick, avoid contact with others and stay more than 1.5 metres away from people who are unwell, and if you are sick, call your doctor or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 for advice.

Other ways that can help you stay healthy and calm include

  • maintaining your normal routine
  • talking to your family and friends about your worries and concerns
  • engaging in enjoyable activities and hobbies
  • limiting alcohol and other comfort foods
  • using trusted media outlets to get the information you need. (Excess media exposure to the coverage of stressful events can have negative health outcomes.)

Coping with self-isolation

If you are quarantined or need to self-isolate the following will help to keep your spirits up:

  • maintaining a normal daily routine as much as possible
  • staying connected with friends and family through social media and over the phone
  • making some time for exercise
  • using your time at home to complete work if that’s possible for you
  • taking advantage of the time to relax and read a book.

See Coping with isolation to understand what to expect, how to look after yourself and others, and where to get help.

Health practitioners

During infectious disease outbreaks, health practitioners on the frontline are likely to encounter patients who are experiencing different levels of emotional distress about the outbreak and its impact upon them and their communities.

Health practitioners are also members of our community who will experience emotional distress which can be magnified by caring for sick and distressed patients. Health practitioners need to ensure that their basic needs are met including:

  • maintaining a healthy diet
  • staying hydrated
  • getting enough sleep
  • taking a break when needed
  • checking in with family and
  • monitoring their own levels of distress.

If you notice a change in the way that you or others around you are thinking and feeling, or you feel that you are not coping then it is important to talk to a health professional.

Where to get help

If you or someone you know is finding it difficult to participate in normal daily activities, has lost hope or interest in the future, or is experiencing an overwhelming sense of sadness that is severe or long lasting, then contact your GP.

You can also access a range of telephone and online supports through:

For more immediate support for people experiencing significant mental health problems, contact the Mental Health Services Helpline on 1800 332 388, and in an emergency call Triple Zero (000).

Access reliable information

Accessing reliable information during an infectious disease outbreak will assist you and your family to stay healthy.

For reliable and accurate health-related information go to:

The coronavirus will challenge our personal and community resilience, and community recovery will take some time, but if we look after ourselves and each other, stay informed and stay calm, we will continue to adapt and respond in a positive way

Last update: 09 Apr 2020 3:27pm

Restrictions on visits to residential aged care facilities

From midday 7 April, visitors will not be permitted to any of Tasmania’s residential aged care facilities, except for visits to provide end-of-life support to a resident or visits from health care professionals providing essential care.

A person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a residential aged care facility in Tasmania (with the above exception taken into consideration) unless they are a resident of that facility, providing medical care to a resident, are an employee or a contractor of the facility, or, their presence is required for the effective delivery of goods and services necessary to the operation of the aged-care facility.

Further to these measures, residential aged care facility residents will not be permitted to leave an the facility unless it is for essential medical requirements, as arranged by the facility’s management.

The above measures will initially be in place until 20 April 2020.

Review the full Direction under Section 16 - Residential Aged Care Facilities - No. 2.

Restrictions on visiting hospital patients

From midday 7 April, visitors will not be permitted to any of Tasmania’s hospitals (applicable to both public and private hospitals and day-procedure centres) with the following exceptions in place: a parent or guardian visiting a child or the legal guardian of a patient, a support person to attending the birth of a child or to provide end-of-life support to a patient. These measures will be in place until midnight 20 April 2020.

A person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a hospital in Tasmania (with the above exceptions taken into consideration) unless they are seeking or receiving medical care, are an employee or a contractor of the hospital, or their presence is required for the effective delivery of goods and services necessary to the operation of the hospital.

Review the full Direction under Section 16 - Hospitals - No. 1.

Home delivery of outpatient medications from hospital pharmacies

Can you deliver my medication?

Public hospital pharmacies provide a range of medications to hospital outpatients. In some cases, these medications are only available from hospitals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital pharmacies can courier your hospital medications to your home. This will help you to avoid travel into a hospital.

This service is being funded by the Tasmanian Government during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be free of charge.

You can also continue to collect your medications from your usual hospital pharmacy in person, for example if you are attending a clinic booking on the same day.

How do I request delivery?

If you are dropping your script off, ask the pharmacy staff to arrange delivery.

If you are ordering a repeat supply of your medication, you can request delivery when you order your repeat over email or phone (see contact details below).

Are there any exclusions?

Most, but not all, medications can be sent by post or courier. If your medication cannot be delivered, you will be phoned to discuss alternatives.

Delivery via courier is not available to some locations, including King Island, Flinders Island, Bruny Island, and some other areas. In these cases, delivery will be arranged to your nearest District Hospital for collection, or alternatively the parcel can be sent using Australia Post.

Getting your medication delivered:

  1. Contact the hospital pharmacy to request your medication – see below for details of email and phone numbers. Please provide 3 days’ notice if possible.
  2. The hospital pharmacy will ask you to confirm your postal address or supply an alternative address for delivery of medication.
  3. Someone needs to be home to receive the delivery.
  4. Your pharmacists and your delivery driver will practice good hygiene.
  5. Couriers will avoid contact and maintain a safe distance. If you have provided a phone number, they may call you while leaving it outside.
  6. Discard the outer plastic wrapper and then wash your hands with soap and water.
  7. If you notice that the delivery looks damaged, or if there are any other issues, please call the hospital pharmacy immediately.
  8. If your medication is unable to be delivered for any reason, it will be returned to the pharmacy and they will contact you discuss alternatives for receiving your medication.
  9. If you have any questions about your medications, please call the appropriate number below.  You may also receive a call from a hospital pharmacist to discuss your medications.

Contact us:

Last update: 07 Apr 2020 10:42am

Food safety

When shopping and eating

COVID-19 isn’t a foodborne illness. However, safe handling and preparation of food will help reduce the chance of picking up the illness through touching surfaces which have the virus on them. By being extra careful in following food safety advice you can help prevent the spread of disease.

Advice for when shopping and preparing food

  • Wipe shopping trolley down. Use in-store wipes provided, or take your own.
  • Try not to touch your face when shopping for food and in other public places.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after shopping and before preparing food.
  • Use a hand sanitiser after leaving the store.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables under running water before eating.
  • You don’t need to use soap. This is usual food safety advice.
  • Cooking food makes it safe. Heat will kill germs.

Keeping safe at home

  • Before and after meals thoroughly clean food preparation surfaces like kitchen benches.
  • Wash hands before preparing food for yourself and others. Wash hands before and after eating.
  • Do not prepare food for others if you are unwell. This is important all the time to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Do not eat or share food with people who are unwell with COVID-19. This helps reduce risk of spreading the virus.

How the virus spreads

The virus most likely spreads through:

  • close contact with an infectious person
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze (if you are within 1.5 metres or two large steps of an infected person)
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs, sink taps and tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

TasWater

Drinking water supplied by TasWater is safe to drink. Disinfection processes for drinking water are designed and operated to manage pathogens, such as viruses. Conventional disinfection applied to inactivate the most resistant viruses will also inactivate COVID-19. No additional treatment is required and there is no evidence to suggest that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through drinking water. The safety of drinking water supplied to Tasmanians by TasWater is regulated by the Department of Health under a comprehensive legislative framework to ensure a consistent, reliable supply of safe, good quality drinking water.

Where a reticulated drinking water supply is available, this is the best and safest option. There is no need to buy bottled water. Water supply is an essential service and TasWater will continue to work with the Department to ensure that safe drinking water is delivered to your home at all times. Should the quality of your water change, then you will be advised about any restrictions on the safe use of your water. This is unlikely to occur and if it does, then it would not be COVID-19 related.

For more information see the Water Research Australia fact sheet for COVID-19.

Public drinking water fountains and bottle fill stations

Public drinking water supplies are safe to drink, however the surfaces around the fountain including the spout, button/leaver and nozzles could pose a risk for the transmission of COVID-19 and other germs.

  • Don’t place your mouth on the spout of the fountain or allow your water bottle to come into contact with the nozzle when refilling.
  • Test the water flow and let the water flow for 10 seconds to allow for fresh, clean water to come through prior to drinking.
  • If the fountain requires you to push a button or lever, clean the surface before and after, or use your elbow.
  • Clean your hands afterwards with an alcohol-based rub or wash them with soap and water.

The Department of Health will advise asset owners and managers carry out more frequent cleaning of drinking water fountains.

Last update: 06 Apr 2020 9:01am

Planned burns are happening across Tasmania, which may impact local air quality. People with asthma and other lung conditions may worry that smoke in the air will increase their risk of catching COVID-19.

I’m asthmatic and worried about poor air quality increasing my risk of catching COVID-19

Tasmania has some of the best air quality in the world. Evidence suggests that the short period of smoke exposure from a planned burn (less than one day), when there is normally excellent air quality, is unlikely to cause an increased risk of infection from COVID-19.

Studies linking increased respiratory infections, chronic lung conditions and poor air quality come from places that have long-term air pollution, like large cities outside Australia. These are not conditions we experience in Tasmania when planned burns are underway.

What can I do?

For people more sensitive to smoke, you can:

  • Keep track of your local air quality. Visit www.health.tas.gov.au/publichealth/air/trackairquality and download the free AirRater app from www.airrater.org
  • When air quality is poor, stay indoors with your windows and doors closed. This will reduce your exposure to smoke and fits with current COVID-19 recommendations to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Consider purchasing an air cleaner to reduce any smoke entering your house.
  • Follow your asthma action plan and see your GP if you don’t have a plan.
  • Eat a balanced diet and try to exercise on days when air quality is good. This will be most days in autumn.

Why are planned burns happening at this time?

In Tasmania, autumn planned burns normally happen from early March to late April and help reduce the fuel load of bushland close to houses. These normally happen when conditions are cooler, there is little wind and the soil is still dry enough to maintain a fire. These types of burns (often called hazard reduction burns) are important to reduce the danger of summer bushfires.

Planned burns are controlled through the Coordinated Smoke Management Strategy, administered by the Forest Practices Authority. The Department of Health was involved in the development of this strategy in 2008 and continues to be each year.

Last update: 03 Apr 2020 4:24pm

Information for animal owners, veterinary clinics, animal shelters and boarding kennels

The welfare of all animals under care is our individual responsibility. The COVID-19 response measures recognise this and permit us to reasonably continue to look after our animals. If you are having difficulty in doing so - seek help from family, friends or registered animal shelters and kennels.

What is the risk of a companion animal contracting or spreading the coronavirus?

There is very little evidence that cats and dogs or any other common pet animal species can become infected with or develop disease or are able to effectively transmit the coronavirus.

The risk of coronavirus transmission to humans from fur or animal coats is assessed as low. However, animals in close proximity to infected humans may become contaminated and act as a vehicle (fomite) for carrying the coronavirus.

Depending on the animal housing environment, studies show that coronavirus survival on fur without any treatment is unlikely to exceed two days under room temperature and conditions extrapolated from limited studies on the closely related SARS CoV virus.

My animal may have come into contact with a person with COVID-19 - what should I do?

It is recommended animals in contact with humans with COVID-19 should be washed immediately before entering any type of alternative accommodation including other households, boarding kennels, animal shelters and before a visit to the vet.

If contact with a human COVID case has occurred, it is also recommended that people with adequate PPE transport the animal to the arranged destination for further treatment and care, ensuring appropriate hygiene procedures are also met.

Shampoo, soaps and detergents effectively applied, destroy the coronavirus. Any human shampoo or soap is fine for use on animals.

A hot detergent wash is recommended for cleaning pet bedding and other associated items.

Animal-human face contact should be minimised and appropriate PPE and hygiene procedures used according to the coronavirus risk context.

Hand hygiene is essential before and after handling your pets, as well as their food and water bowls.

Visits to veterinary clinics, animal shelters and boarding kennels

Just like many other businesses, in the current climate, veterinary clinics, animal shelters and boarding kennels require an appointment before any visit and prefer payment by credit card.  Social distancing rules apply.

In the current situation, some veterinary services may not be available.

It is very important that the coronavirus risk status of the household is clearly communicated to veterinary clinics or alternative accommodation facilities before visiting so they can take appropriate measures.

A coronavirus risk assessment should be applied to species such as horses, livestock and birds to assess the risk of contamination and the need for decontamination.

This risk assessment is a series of questions:

  • Is there anyone in contact who has COVID is the last 2 days?
  • Is there any possible contact with a COVID contaminated situation?
  • Do I routinely touch, pat, cuddle the animal?
  • Is it practical to wash the animal?
  • Will washing adversely affect the health of the animals?

There is a potential coronavirus risk with ferrets and extra caution be taken with this species if they have been exposed to an infected owner.

Are animal shelters able to stay open?

Yes, animal shelters service are an important animal welfare function. Shelter operations must abide by social isolation principles. Shelters must practice good hygiene practices.

Visiting shelters (by non-workers/volunteers) needs to be carefully considered and only essential travel undertaken in consultation with the business.

What do I do if my animal is unwell?

Taking an animal in an emergency situation to the vet is essential travel. If your pet is sick or injured call a vet. If an animal is unwell you can travel to the vet, but you must call them first and abide by social distancing rules.

What do I do with my animal if I am sick and need to go to hospital?

If you are sick and need to go to hospital and the only option you have is to board your animal, then that is defined as essential travel.  Make arrangements for your pet to travel and an appointment with your kennel. Abide by social distancing rules.

Can I put my pet into board so I can do day or overnight trips?

This is not defined as an essential purpose or travel unless you have to travel to perform an essential service as defined.

Where can I find more information?