Essential Travellers

Last Updated: 13 Apr 2021 2:47pm

Travellers who have spent time in a medium or high-risk areas and premises 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;
  • quarantine to be conducted in a suitable premises other than government-designated accommodation (fees may apply); or
  • provide a full or partial exemption from quarantine, for compassionate reasons such as a funeral.

Essential Travellers are subject to conditions that include a requirement to isolate when not at work or seeking supplies, to wear a face mask, and in some instances a requirement to have a COVID-19 test. These conditions vary depending on the category of Essential Traveller.

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

Maritime crewfly-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.

Pre-approval is required for travellers who have spent time in a high-risk area in the 14 days prior to arrival in Tasmania and want to enter the State as an Essential Traveller 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).

High risk Category 2 and 8 are required to enter 14 days quarantine in government managed accommodation (or suitable premises if approved by the Deputy State Controller). Read more about the Essential Traveller categories.

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.

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.

To enable appropriate assessment of Essential Traveller applications when specialist interstate skills are required, G2G Essential Traveller applications should be made at least seven (7) days prior to travel to Tasmania, where possible.

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 will be 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.

Applicants who arrive in Tasmania without approved Essential Traveller status 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 (unless approved otherwise).

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 a health screening on arrival. This involves answering health screening questions and having a temperature check.

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 by an authorised officer

Testing of Essential Travellers

Public Health also requires high risk Essential Travellers to undergo COVID-19 test – those not entering quarantine must have a test within 24 hours of arrival, while those undertaking quarantine at a suitable premises (other than government-designated accommodation) have 48 hours to have a test. Essential Travellers must then have a second test on or as soon as possible after day 12 of their time in Tasmania.

Read about how to be tested for COVID-19.

The testing and screening process applies for each entry into the State – regardless of how many times the traveller visits. The exception is for transport, freight and logistics operators (Essential Traveller Category 3)

Testing of Transport, Freight and Logistics workers (Category 3)

Tasmania has adopted a nationally consistent approach that means transport, freight and logistics operators who 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) do not have to have a test within 24 hours of arrival in Tasmania.

However, Transport, Freight and Logistics workers must have a COVID-19 test within each seven (7) day period that passes their arrival in Tasmania, until 14 days have passed and they have had two tests.

To organise a COVID-19 test, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Refusing a COVID-19 test

Essential Travellers who refuse 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.

If the Essential Traveller continues to refuse a COVID-19 test while in isolation, and has not had a COVID-19 test by the completion of the 14 day period, they will be required to isolate for an additional 10 days.

The Essential Traveller will be able to leave isolation if they subsequently have a COVID-19 test and the results are negative, and they are approved to leave isolation by the Deputy State Controller.

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 Category 4 (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 Schedule 4 of the Directions in Relation to Persons Arriving in Tasmania.