Aged care facility visits

Last Updated: 05 Jan 2022 7:12pm

Aged care facility visitor restrictions

In Tasmania, visits to residential aged care facilities are permitted for people providing care and support, with the following restrictions:

  • All persons visiting a residential aged care facility, must wear a face mask while they remain on the premises. This requirement includes children under the age of 12 years, where practicable.
  • All visitors to a residential aged care facility who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 must show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the intended visit.The testing requirement applies to all persons, regardless of age, (except for infants under the age of 28 days) and there are no exemptions for a vaccine medical contraindication.
  • If you cannot provide vaccination evidence, can you provide evidence of a negative result from a PCR COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours prior to visit or had a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) result within 24 hours prior to visit.
  • Visitors must not have any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever (a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees), symptoms of fever (chills, night sweats), cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell.
  • People who are in quarantine or isolation are not permitted to visit.
  • Anyone who has had contact with someone known to have COVID-19, or reasonably suspected of having COVID-19, within the previous 14 days, is not permitted to visit.

An exemption to these requirements may be provided by the Director of Public Health and the operator of the facility for visits for end of life care.

Visitor screening

Operators of residential aged care facilities must screen all people except people attending for emergency medical (including transport), emergency management, or law enforcement, before they enter the premises. See the Staff/Visitor Screening Tool for Residential Care Services.

The operators of aged care facilities are required to record contact information for all visitors using the Check in TAS app, or an alternative methods, as outlined in the Contact Tracing Direction.

If visits are being carried out in communal areas, it is important that a physical distance of 1.5 metres be maintained between people whenever possible.

Influenza vaccine is strongly encouraged for anyone who spends time in residential aged care facilities.

Each resident may receive multiple visits each day, subject to each facilities’ policies.

The maximum duration of visits is subject to each facilities’ policies.

Residents may leave the facility, for example with family and friends.

End-of-life care

To support end of life care, under the Residential Aged Care Facilities Direction, a residential aged care facility may assist you to apply for an exemption to the requirements for visitors.

Visitors must always comply with requirements as set out by the facility during the visit.

If you have symptoms and wish to visit for end-of-life care, you must contact the facility prior to arrival. This will allow them to discuss with you the requirements for your visit.

Seeking exemptions to visit an aged care facility while in quarantine

The Director of Public Health may provide an exemption on compassionate grounds to permit people who are not able to meet the requirements to enter the premises to visit if the person is seeking to visit a resident in the facility to provide end-of-life care.

How to apply for exemption to visit a residential aged care facility for an end-of-life visit

  1. Discuss your proposed visit with the manager of the residential aged care facility.
  2. If the facility manager is supportive of your visit, request a letter of support naming you as the proposed visitor.
  3. Request a letter from the resident’s treating doctor, certifying that the resident is nearing end-of-life.
  4. The facility will then assist you in forwarding your application to Public Health Services for review.
  5. Applications are assessed by Public Health Services from Monday to Friday in business hours. Please call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 if your application is urgent.
  6. You will be notified of the outcome of your exemption application by email.

For people travelling to Tasmania who are required to quarantine:

  • Tasmania’s border entry conditions depend on your COVID-19 vaccination status and whether you have been in an area declared high or extreme risk. See Coming to Tasmania or further information regarding these requirements.
  • Applications are assessed by Public Health Services from Monday to Friday in business hours. You are encouraged to apply at least three (3) days prior, but no more than 14 days, prior to your proposed travel date. In extraordinary circumstances, urgent applications will be considered. Please call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 if your application is urgent.
  • Approval from Public Health Services to leave quarantine to visit an aged care facility is the first step.
  • After Public Health Services has assessed your request to visit the facility, your application for Tas-e-Travel pass will be assessed. If approved by both agencies, you will receive a Tas-e-Travel pass and a letter of approval from Public Health by email. If not approved, your Tas-e-Travel pass will be rejected.

If you receive approval to visit the aged care facility, make sure you take your Tas-e-Travel pass and the letter from Public Health Services with you on your visit, as evidence that exemptions have been provided. Otherwise, you will not be permitted to visit. You will also need to complete a screening form when you arrive. When you fill out the screening form, you must declare that you are in quarantine. You must also comply with any directions given by Public Health or staff of the facility, such as wearing a face mask.

For more information, call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 or email covid.response@health.tas.gov.au.