Families and community

Last update: 27 Mar 2020 9:55am

Where to find information

Learn the facts and how to keep yourself safe.

The Department of Education website and Facebook page are being updated regularly with alerts and advice for schools, libraries and child and family centres.

For school related COVID-19 information you can also contact the Department of Education on 1800 816 057 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Tasmanian Government schools

Tasmanian public school students will now finish for the Easter break on Friday 3 April.

Teachers will stay at school between 6-9 April to undertake professional learning days. This professional learning will focus on preparing teachers to support learning from home for students.

Parents are able to care for children at home if they choose to and are not required to send their children to school.

It is planned that school sites will open at the commencement of Term 2, Monday 27 April 2020.

See the media release for more information.

School closures

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has considered school closures and recommended schools remain open. The Committee’s advice is that pre-emptive closures are not likely to be proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 at this time.

Globally, nearly all children who have been known to be infected with COVID-19 have had mild illness.

Closing schools may inadvertently place older people at increased risk (if they are caring for children on behalf of parents), would make it harder to maintain social distancing measures among children and young people, and would have a major impact on the health workforce.

Our response to COVID-19 is likely to continue for six or more months. Closing schools for six months is not feasible or warranted given what we currently know.

Individual, short-term school closures may be considered if there is a surge of illness in localised areas.

The Tasmanian Government has committed to re-open schools at the end of the school break, subject to the advice of the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee.

More information is available on the Department of Health website.

Should I send my child to school

Parents can choose to keep their children home and Government schools where possible will begin to provide resources for learning at home for their students. It will take time for this to occur as education provision is still required as schools are currently open.

There is no need to keep your child home from school or childcare if they are well and do not meet the criteria for self-isolation.

Children should not attend school or childcare if:

  • they are unwell with fever OR acute respiratory illness (eg cough, sore throat, shortness of breath)
  • they meet the criteria for self-isolation (see below).

People need to self-isolate in Tasmania for 14 days if they:

  • have arrived in Tasmania on or after 21 March 2020
  • have arrived in Australia on or after 16 March 2020
  • have been in close contact with a confirmed case.

See self-isolation for more information.

Cancellation of school gatherings

The Tasmanian Government has introduced precautionary measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 in schools. Schools have adopted social distancing measures, including the cancellation of:

  • assemblies and presentation nights
  • excursions
  • travel
  • fetes and fairs
  • concerts (with audiences)
  • all sports carnivals
  • school camps (both local and interstate)
  • face-to-face parent teacher meetings.

These restrictions will be in place until further notice.

Education levy relief

Government School levies for 2020 will be reimbursed. Many of the activities that are funded by school levies are no longer occurring at this stage.

Parents and carers do not need to contact their children’s school, as the process will be managed centrally, and the Department of Education will be putting in place processes to have refunds made within 8 weeks.

If levy payments have not yet been made by parents and carers they will not be required to do so.


Last update: 26 Mar 2020 11:47am

From noon Monday 23 March some facilities and businesses are restricted from operating to ensure COVID-19 does not spread in our community. See the list of Government service closures and public gatherings for more information about services and community facilities that may be affected.

Lifeblood Donor Centres

Lifeblood Donor Centres is one of the essential services that will remain open along with supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, etc to provide life-saving blood and plasma to Australian patients.

To book a donation visit www.lifeblood.com.au, call 13 14 95 or download the Donate Blood app.

Prison visits

Personal prison visits across the Tasmanian Prison Service are temporarily suspended from 20 March. Where possible there will be increased telephone access and extra resources into alternative communication measures, such as video calls, to ensure that prisoners can continue to connect with their families and friends.

Essential professional visits such as legal practitioners on official business will continue at this time. All such visitors will be required to follow the self-assessment and hygiene guidelines in line with public health advice and, given the need for increased cleaning of the visiting spaces, availability will need to be controlled.

Last update: 27 Mar 2020 1:08pm

Metro Tasmania

Metro Tasmania are reducing cash transactions on board. Greencards are free from 26 March, and travel will be free from Thursday 26 March until Friday 10 April to give people time to get a free Greencard.

Metro Tasmania has also implemented and enhanced cleaning regime of its bus fleet by its contractor, with hospital grade disinfectant in use and particular attention being paid to frequently touched surfaces.

More information is available on the Metro Tasmania website.

School buses

Advice on school bus cleaning has been circulated to all contracted school bus operators in the state with new requirements for more regular cleaning of bus interiors.

Community transport

Community transport services such as those provided by many local councils and NGO’s to support access to medical care and other essential services can continue. Minimise the number of people in a car or bus to ensure social distancing can be maintained.

Last update: 24 Mar 2020 12:06pm

NDIS Participants

Participants should contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 if they need to talk to a planner, make changes to their plan or are having trouble sourcing services due to COVID-19.

More information about COVID-19 for NDIS participants and their families and carers is available on the NDIS website.

Last update: 24 Mar 2020 7:00pm

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission (TEC) is undertaking new additional measures to ensure electors have access to the voting process and to maintain the integrity of the 2020 Legislative Council elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New extended election timetable

  • Close of the roll: 6pm Wednesday 15 April
  • Nomination period closing: noon Thursday 23 April
  • Announcement of candidates: noon Friday 24 April
  • Polling day: 8am-6pm Saturday 30 May

The new timetable allows for a longer pre-poll period of five weeks in an attempt to provide greater elector access and reduce the concentration of electors in polling places.

Mail out to current Huon and Rosevears electors

The TEC will mail every current Huon and Rosevears elector an information pack regarding their possible entitlement to vote by post. An elector can apply for a postal vote if they expect to be unable to attend a polling place on polling day, Saturday 30 May.

Mobile polling services will not be provided

The TEC will not be providing mobile polling services to aged care homes for these elections. Along with the information pack mail out, additional postal vote applications will be made available to aged care homes within the Huon and Rosevears divisions to ensure engagement with electors within these facilities.

More information

More information about these elections can be found on the TEC website.