Essential Travellers

Last Updated: 20 Nov 2020 10:41am

Travellers who have spent time in a medium or high-risk area in the 14 days prior to arrival in Tasmania can seek to enter the State as an Essential Traveller if their travel is for identified critical work, health, compassionate or other specified reasons.

Essential Traveller status can allow entry into the State where it would otherwise have been considered too high-risk, or provide a full or partial exemption from quarantine, such as for compassionate reasons such as a funeral.

Essential Travellers are subject to conditions which can include quarantine, testing or providing evidence of testing, and monitoring their health. These conditions vary depending on whether the traveller has spent time in a medium or high-risk area, and their category of Essential Traveller.

For more information, visit Conditions for Essential Travellers and Essential Traveller categories.

Maritime crew, fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers and seasonal workers are also eligible for Essential Traveller status.

Submitting an Essential Traveller application

The most effective way of seeking to enter Tasmania as an Essential Traveller is via the G2G PASS system.

Essential Travellers under Category 2 (Health Services), Category 4 (Specialist skills critical to maintaining key industries or businesses) and Category 8 (Other persons, or classes of persons, approved by the Deputy State Controller) who have spent time in a high-risk area in the 14 days prior to arrival in Tasmania require pre-approval. Those under Categories 2 and 8 are also required to enter 14 days quarantine.

Healthcare workers should refer to Information for healthcare workers. Every healthcare worker seeking an exemption from quarantine must make this request as part of the G2G PASS process.

Travellers who receive their G2G PASS QR code before travelling are able to quickly pass through Tasmanian ports on arrival. Anyone without a G2G PASS QR code on arrival is asked by Biosecurity Tasmania officers to register on the G2G PASS website. If a traveller is unable to complete the online application, Biosecurity Tasmania officers are available to assist.

To enable appropriate assessment of Essential Traveller applications when specialist interstate skills are required, G2G Essential Traveller applications should be made not less than seven (7) days prior to travel to Tasmania where possible.

Applications should clearly explain the need for the work to be undertaken, with supporting evidence included where possible. When there is an urgent need to travel to perform essential work, this should also be clearly explained in the application – including the consequences of the work not being undertaken.

Applicants who arrive in Tasmania without a quarantine exemption are required to quarantine until they are advised that an exemption has been granted. Travellers from medium-risk areas will be able to quarantine in a suitable private premise and those from high-risk areas will go into government-designated quarantine accommodation.

Testing and screening of Essential Travellers

Essential Travellers who have spent time in a high-risk area in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Tasmania are required to undertake health screening on arrival and a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival at one of the current testing sites within the State.

Travellers can go to the Devonport or Burnie clinics with no booking required or make an appointment to visit the Hobart or Launceston clinics by calling the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 and advising that they are an Essential Traveller who has been in a high-risk area and required to undertake a test.

The testing and screening applies for each entry into the State – regardless of how many times the traveller visits. The exception is freight and logistics operators.  Tasmania has adopted a nationally consistent approach that means freight, transport or logistics operators need to undergo a test on arrival unless they have evidence of having had a negative COVID-19 test in the seven (7) days prior to their arrival and have not had a positive test for the disease within that seven (7) day period.

The screening and testing involves answering health screening questions on arrival, having a temperature check and a COVID-19 test. Anyone refusing to be tested will go into quarantine at government-designated accommodation for 14 days (and be required to pay the government-designated accommodation fee) or can leave Tasmania at their own expense.

Once a traveller passes the initial screening process, they are not required to quarantine while awaiting the test results, however they must continue to comply with the conditions of their Essential Traveller approval.

If a traveller does not pass the screening, they are required to go into government-designated accommodation – or they may wish to return to their place of origin at their own expense. They can choose to leave quarantine at any time to return to their place of origin, however must transit directly to the point of departure and comply with other directions provided.

If the test comes back as negative while in government-designated accommodation, the traveller is allowed to leave quarantine.

If the test comes back as positive, the traveller is required to comply with the advice provided by Public Health authorities.

Phone checks for Essential Travellers

Essential Travellers approved under Categories 4a and 4b (Specialist skills critical to maintaining key industries or businesses) are contacted by the Public Health Hotline two (2) days after arrival, and every second day afterwards. They are required to confirm they are meeting the Essential Traveller conditions, such as monitoring themselves for symptoms and quarantining while seeking a test if unwell.

These requirements are detailed in Schedules 3 and 4 of Directions in Relation to Persons Arriving in Tasmania.