Self-isolation

Last Updated: 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.