Quarantine

Who needs to quarantine?

You must quarantine 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 quarantine at their point of arrival into Australia.

**Every person arriving in Tasmania, including Tasmanian residents, (with the exception of Essential Travellers and eligible maritime crew) is required to enter a 14 day period of quarantine. Tasmanian residents must undertake their 14 days quarantine at their residence. Non-Tasmanian residents and people who have returned from international travel or a cruise ship in the last 14 days will be required to undertake their quarantine in Government provided accommodation.

See Coming to Tasmania for more information on Tasmanian border restrictions and quarantine requirements.

What does ‘quarantine’ mean?

During the 14 days of quarantine, 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 quarantine 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 quarantine as well. Let your family, friends and neighbours know you are in quarantine 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 quarantine?

You need to be in quarantine 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 quarantine 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 quarantine requirement but you must still comply with the listed quarantine conditions in the direction made by the Director of Health under Section 16 of the Public Health Act 1997.

Why do you have to quarantine for 14 days?

If you have been required to quarantine 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 48 hours before you feel sick.

Quarantine is very important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Tasmania. If you have been told to quarantine at home, you must do so. Breaching the quarantine 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 Quarantine FAQs for more information.

Does a person required to undertake 14 days isolation need to complete this period if they return a negative test result in this time?

Yes, because the groups of people in Tasmania who are subject to the 14 day quarantine requirements are considered to be at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 at any point within the relevant 14 day period. Even if they return a negative test result within this time, this does not guarantee that they will not develop the disease at a later point within the 14 day period.

Currently there are directions in place that specify a number of different groups of people are required to complete a 14 day quarantine period. Some of these groups are required to stay in government provided accommodation while others are permitted to complete their quarantine period at home.

These groups of people are required to complete a full 14 days quarantine because they are a high risk of developing COVID-19 during the 14 day period, and they represent a risk to public health because of the possibility they may transmit COVID-19 to others before they are aware they have the disease.

These groups are:

  • People arriving into Tasmania from a departure point outside of Tasmania; and
  • People who have been directed to quarantine because they are a close contact of a confirmed case.

The only situation where someone who has been directed to self-isolate can stop doing so, is where they are tested because they are displaying symptoms and meet the relevant testing criteria, but are not a close contact of a confirmed case. In this case, when they return a negative test result for COVID-19 they would be notified that they are no longer required to self-isolate.

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

When travelling to your home to start your quarantine 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 Quarantine FAQs for more information.

Looking after your normal health needs with your doctor

It is important that Tasmanians 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 physical 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 quarantine 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 quarantine 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 quarantine 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 quarantine requirements, you can report it by filling out this form.