Important community updates

Last Updated: 15 Sep 2021 4:15pm

    My Language Portal launches

    15 September

    The new translated resources hub, My Language Portal, has now launched.

    The portal features COVID-19 resources in 13 languages, with easy-to-read and Auslan formats also available.

    Fact sheets cover up-to-date information on topics including vaccinations, testing, handwashing procedures and Check in TAS.

    A Google Translate function has been implemented so that you can navigate the page in your language. If your language is not there, you can click through to the Australian Government COVID-19 translated resources portal.

    To browse the portal and its languages, go to www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/mylanguage


    Mandatory mask wearing at events in Tasmania

    10 September

    Face masks will be mandatory at public events with more than 1000 people, starting Saturday 18 September 2021.

    This requirement will be applied regardless of whether the event is seated or unseated, indoors, or outdoors.

    Throughout the COVID-19 health emergency, events have been identified to be among the highest-risk environments for COVID-19 transmission. The new mask-wearing requirement is a response to the currently heightened COVID-19 risk nationally.

    Each person is responsible for supplying their own fitted face mask while attending an event. The mask must be worn during the event, including while queuing for, or entering or exiting from the event.

    Masks are an extra form of protection where it might be difficult for large groups of people to keep their physical distance.

    Read more about face masks


    Mandatory vaccination of health care workers

    10 September

    More details have been released regarding the requirement for all workers in health care settings to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

    The requirement to be vaccinated will apply to people who work in health care settings which include public health settings, private health facilities, private provider facilities and specific education settings.

    It also applies to people who provide health and medical services and treatments outside of these settings, including persons registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and particular allied health professionals.

    All Department of Health employees and contractors are also required to be vaccinated.

    This means that people required to be vaccinated must have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or provide evidence of a booking or exemption by 31 October 2021.

    For more information about mandatory vaccination go to Health care settings.


    Hobart testing clinic update

    9 September

    The Department of Health have advised that the opening hours for the public COVID-19 testing clinic in Hobart has changed due to extreme weather conditions.

    The Testing Clinic located at Macquarie Point at 16A Evans Street, Hobart is closed for remainder of the day, Thursday 9 September.

    If you have a booking you will be contacted to reschedule your appointment.

    For more information about COVID-19 testing in your area, go to Testing for COVID-19.


    Check in TAS app updates

    8 September

    The Check in TAS app has been updated. The updated version of the app includes helpful functions such as:

    • The ability to check-in even without mobile or broadband service.
    • Access to a quick check-in function enabling you to check in to frequent locations without needing to scan the QR code.
    • The use of your flashlight when scanning a QR code. This function is particularly helpful in rideshare vehicles and taxis at night.
    • The option to hide your personal details so that they can’t be seen when holding up your phone to scan a QR code.
    • The Check-in TAS app can now be used when visiting venues in the NT, ACT and Queensland.

    To access these new features, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store in the coming days, check for updates and download the latest Check in TAS version.

    Everyone is responsible for making sure they check in at each location using the Check in TAS QR code. Penalties may apply for not checking in at a required location.

    Further information on the use of the Check in TAS app is available on the Check in TAS page.


    Hay fever or COVID-19?

    6 September

    If you have hay fever, no matter how mild, it is recommended you get tested for COVID-19.

    Hay fever is more common in Tasmania in spring and summer, and can be caused by allergies to pollen from some flowering plants.

    Symptoms of hay fever can include a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing, itchy, sore and watery eyes and sometimes a cough.

    These symptoms are also symptoms of a cold, influenza and COVID-19 – and it is often difficult to tell them apart without testing.

    New or worsening symptoms?

    If you have new or worsening symptoms that you believe are from hay fever, you will need to get tested for COVID-19.

    While you wait for the result of your COVID-19 test, please stay at home. Do not go to work or school.

    If your result is negative, see your GP about controlling the symptoms, and to request a certificate so that you can return to work or school. The certificate should be given to your workplace, school, childcare or other places you spend time.

    Ongoing symptoms?

    Sometimes hay fever are hard to control – even with the advice of your GP.

    If you have ongoing symptoms of hay fever and have returned a negative COVID-19 test, you will be able to return to work or school if:

    • you have seen a doctor to discuss the likely cause of your symptoms and help you manage the symptoms
    • COVID-19 is not spreading in the region where you live, work or study (and all known cases are linked to other known cases or recent travel outside your region)
    • you are not at increased risk of having COVID-19 because of recent travel to areas where COVID-19 is spreading or recent close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.

    New symptoms?

    If you develop new or additional symptoms, you will need to stay at home until you undertake an additional COVID-19 test and you have returned a negative result.

    Questions or concerns

    If you have any questions or concerns about symptoms you believe might be hay fever, contact your GP in the first instance.

    To arrange a COVID-19 test, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738, or register online.

    More information about hay fever is available on the Testing for COVID-19 FAQs page


    Repatriation flight from UK

    6 September

    A repatriation flight of Australian residents arrived in Hobart on the evening of Sunday, 5 September from the UK.

    Some travellers on this flight have previously been identified as COVID-19 cases, which means that they were infected with the virus at some point in the past but are no longer infectious.

    All passengers have undertaken pre-departure COVID-19 testing prior to leaving London along with a medical assessment if required.

    A health check was undertaken on arrival into Australia, and an additional health assessment is being conducted for all passengers within 24 hours of their arrival in Tasmania. This will include testing on arrival in hotel quarantine with results expected in the next few days.


    Mandatory vaccination of health care workers

    3 September

    The Tasmanian Government has today announced the requirement for all health care workers in Tasmania in Tasmanian health care settings, both public and private, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Health care workers will need to have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine or provide evidence of a booking or exemption by 31 October 2021.

    This is a critical step to ensuring the protection of our entire health workforce and to protect vulnerable patients in their care. The requirement will apply to all health care workers across the public and private health systems, including employees of the Department of Health, Tasmanian Health Service and Ambulance Tasmania.

    This is a further step to the Directions recently put in place that require aged care workers and workers at government designated quarantine facilities, including people who provide transport service to travellers during their quarantine period, to be vaccinated by 17 September 2021.

    The vaccination rate of staff in the Department of Health is already around 80%, and by ensuring the remainder of the workforce in Tasmania is vaccinated we are in the best position to support the Tasmanian community during this ongoing health emergency.

    A Direction will be issued by the Director of Public Health to support this requirement and full details including the definition of health care worker will be confirmed over the next week and further information provided as soon as it is available.

    All unvaccinated health care workers will have access to vaccines with arrangements being put in place for workplace clinics in the public sector, and liaising with the private sector to provide every worker the opportunity to be vaccinated by 31 October.

    To book a vaccination or find out more information go to COVID-19 Vaccination.


    New high-risk premises listed in Queensland

    2 September

    New high-risk premises have been declared in Queensland, having been visited by a COVID-19 case on 26 August 2021.

    View the updated list of high-risk premises for Queensland.

    Anyone in Tasmania who has spent time at any of the high-risk premises at the specified dates and times should self-isolate immediately and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for further advice.

    Travellers who have arrived on or since 26 August after being in Queensland are asked to continue to check the Travel Alert page regularly for updates, monitor their health and call the Public Health Hotline to book a test if they have even mild symptoms.

    Anyone who has spent time at a high-risk (Level 1) premises at the specified date and time will not be permitted to travel to Tasmania. This includes Tasmanian residents.


    New high-risk premises listed in South Australia

    29 August

    New high-risk premises have been declared in South Australia today, having been visited by COVID-19 cases on 21 and 22 August 2021.

    View the updated list of high-risk premises for South Australia.

    Anyone in Tasmania who has spent time at any of the high-risk premises at the specified dates and times should self-isolate immediately and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for further advice.

    Travellers who have arrived on or since 21 August after being in South Australia are asked to continue to check the Travel Alert page regularly for updates, monitor their health and call the Public Health Hotline to book a test if they have even mild symptoms.

    Anyone who has spent time at a high-risk (Level 1) premises at the specified date and time will not be permitted to travel to Tasmania. This includes Tasmanian residents.


    High-risk premises listed in South Australia and Western Australia

    28 August

    A number of premises in both South Australia and Western Australia have been declared high-risk by Tasmanian Public Health Services today due to being visited by a COVID-19 case.

    If you have spent time in South Australia since the August 25 and/or Western Australia since August 26, please check the listed high-risk premises on the Travel Alert page.

    If you are in Tasmania and have spent time at any of the high-risk premises at the specified dates and times, self-isolate immediately and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for further advice.

    Travellers from both jurisdictions are asked to continue to check the  Travel Alert page regularly for updates, monitor their health and call the Public Health Hotline to book a test if they have even mild symptoms. Regardless of whether you have been to any of the listed premises, get tested if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms.

    Anyone intending to travel to Tasmania who has spent time at a high-risk (Level 1) premises at the specified date and time will not be permitted to travel to Tasmania. This includes Tasmanian residents


    Visitor restrictions for hospitals and aged care facilities lifted

    27 August

    The requirement to limit daily visitors in hospitals and residential aged care facilities is no longer in place.

    The situation in Tasmania is reviewed regularly and the safety and wellbeing of people admitted to hospital and residents in aged care, as well as their families, is of the greatest priority in determining the current restrictions.

    For more information go to public hospital patient visitation and aged care facility visits


    Wearing face masks in hospitals extended

    27 August

    The requirement to wear a face mask for anyone who enters a hospital, including staff, will remain in place under a Public Health Direction. This requirement will be reviewed regularly.

    Wearing of face masks in public hospitals, private hospitals, and day procedure centres is in place to reduce the risk of transmission in higher-risk settings from a person unknowingly infected with COVID-19.

    Staff and visitors 12 years and over must wear a mask while they remain on the premises. This requirement does not apply to admitted patients in a hospital.

    Wearing face masks in residential aged care facilities removed. There is no longer a requirement to wear face masks in residential aged care facilities, however, please follow any requests made by a facility you visit.

    For more information go to Face masks in health and aged care settings.


    Buses, ferries and passenger terminals added to Check in TAS

    27 August

    From Friday 3 September 2021, buses, ferries and passenger terminals including airports are required to have QR codes for the Check in TAS app. For contact tracing purposes, each bus, bus terminal, passenger ferry, ferry terminal and airport terminal are required to display their unique code for Check in TAS.

    To avoid delays, buses and ferries are not required to have alternative means of check in. If someone does not have a smartphone or someone with them who can check them in as a guest, they should make a personal note of their journey.

    It is important to note that the requirements do not apply to:

    • A school student, regardless of their age, travelling on a bus or ferry on a school day
    • Travel on a ferry in your car, when you remain in your car
    • Travellers disembarking from a plane at an airport terminal

    People are responsible for making sure they check in at each location using the Check in TAS QR code, operators are not required to refuse entry. Please be aware that penalties may apply for not checking in at a required location.

    For details about how to register to get a QR code for Check in TAS please see Information for organisations and businesses.


    Business Hardship – Border Closure Critical Support Grant

    18 August

    A support grant program for businesses facing hardship as a result of COVID lockdowns and border restrictions in other states is now available.

    Jointly funded by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments, the Business Hardship – Border Closure Critical Support Grant program targets businesses operating in the tourism, hospitality, arts and events, seafood and transport (hire car, coach tours) sectors, and other business that are impacted by the lockdowns and border restrictions that are in place in other states.

    Grants of between $2,000 and $10,000 will be available for successful applicants.

    Applications close at 2pm, 16 September 2021. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit the Business Tasmania website.


    New Zealand declared high-risk (Level 2) from 3pm 18 August

    18 August

    New Zealand will be declared a high-risk (Level 2) area from 3pm today (Wednesday 18 August) by Tasmanian Public Health authorities. A number of high-risk (level 1) premises are also in place.

    The declaration is in response to a case of COVID-19 in New Zealand and their announcement of a lockdown.

    Anyone intending to travel to Tasmania after 3pm Wednesday 18 August, who has been in New Zealand in the 14 days prior to their arrival will not be able to enter Tasmania unless approved as an Essential Traveller. Quarantine and other conditions may be required for Essential Travellers.

    Tasmanian residents, who have a suitable premises to undertake 14 days quarantine, can apply to enter Tasmania as an Essential Traveller. If you don’t have a suitable residence you will be required to quarantine in Government-designated quarantine – fees may apply.

    Essential Traveller status will not be granted to anyone who has spent time in a high-risk (Level 1) premises at the specified dates and times. This includes Tasmanian residents. See the list on the Travel Alert page.

    Anyone who has recently arrived from New Zealand is asked to closely monitor their symptoms, and if they have any symptoms no matter how mild, should immediately self-isolate and call the Public Health hotline on 1800 671 738 for further advice.


    Mandatory vaccination of aged care workers

    18 August

    A Public Health Direction has now been signed requiring COVID 19 vaccinations for all aged care workers, commencing on 17 September 2021.

    This means that aged care workers, contractors, and volunteers who work at an aged care facility, are not permitted to enter, or remain at the facility unless they have been vaccinated or are in the process of being vaccinated. Workers and volunteers will be required to show their vaccination certificate and/or their booking appointment record for a first or second dose to the operator of the residential aged care facility where they are employed by the 17 September or when they are commencing work.

    Exemptions will apply for anyone unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 due to medical conditions, or for those who are ineligible to be vaccinated due to age.

    Visitors are not required to be vaccinated under the new direction but encouraged to do so to help keep Tasmanians safe.

    See Health and aged care workers for further information.


    Changes to transiting through NSW rules

    13 August

    Changes have been made to the transiting rules for NSW due to the increasing risk of COVID-19 in regional NSW.

    Under the changes travellers from low or medium-risk areas transiting through NSW to Tasmania will be subject to quarantine requirements according to the high-risk (level 1) rating of NSW. This means anyone who travels through NSW by road or rail, even if only stopping for fuel, will be considered to have spent time in a high-risk (level 1) area. Read the quarantine requirements for high-risk areas

    The change takes effect from 4pm 13 August 2021.

    The only exception is transit through Sydney Airport by air (not road, rail or sea), although this is being reviewed by Public Health.

    More information for people who have been in NSW view Travel alert.


    ACT declared high-risk (Level 2) from 5pm 12 August

    12 August

    The Australian Capital Territory will be declared a high-risk (Level 2) area from 5pm today, Thursday 12 August by Tasmanian Public Health authorities.

    The declaration is in response to a case of COVID-19 in the ACT and that Territory’s announcement of a lockdown.

    Anyone intending to travel to Tasmania after 5pm Thursday 12 August, who has been in the ACT on or since 5 August, will not be able to enter Tasmania unless approved as an Essential Traveller. Quarantine and other requirements are in place for Essential Travellers.

    Tasmanian residents, who have a suitable premises to undertake 14 days quarantine, can apply to enter Tasmania as an Essential Traveller. If you don’t have a suitable residence you will be required to quarantine in Government-designated quarantine – fees may apply.

    Essential Traveller status will not be granted to anyone who has spent time in a high-risk (Level 1) premises at the specified dates and times. This includes Tasmanian residents. See the list on the Travel Alert page.


    Taxis and rideshare vehicles added to Check in TAS

    11 August

    From 6pm this Friday 13 August 2021, all taxis, rideshare (such as Uber), luxury hire, and restricted hire vehicles are required to have a QR code for the Check in TAS app.

    Check in TAS allows for the collection of contact tracing information in a form available to Public Health, should they need to access it in the event of a case of COVID-19 in the community.  The Check in TAS app is free and enables people to sign in by scanning a QR code after they get in the vehicle.

    Alternate means of checking in will be available if a customer does not have a smartphone.  Drivers can check them in on paper or on their device using the business profile functionality in the app, refer to the Check in TAS Guide for Businesses for more details.

    Patrons should be ready to check in after they get in the vehicle and please be respectful to drivers. For details about how to register to get a QR code for Check in TAS go to the Information for organisations and businesses page.


    Victoria declared high-risk area

    5 August

    Victoria will be declared a high-risk (Level 2) area from 8pm today, Thursday 5 August by Tasmanian Public Health authorities.

    The declaration is in response to further cases of COVID-19 in VIC and that State’s announcement of a state-wide lockdown.

    Anyone intending to travel to Tasmania after 8pm Thursday 5 August who has been in Victoria after this time, will not be able to enter Tasmania unless approved as an Essential Traveller. Quarantine and other requirements are in place for Essential Travellers.

    Tasmanian residents, who have a suitable premises to undertake 14 days quarantine, can apply to enter Tasmania as an Essential Traveller. If you don’t have a suitable residence you will be required to quarantine in Government-designated quarantine – fees may apply.

    Anyone who arrives before the declaration takes effect will be allowed to enter Tasmania unless they have spent time in identified high-risk premises.

    Tasmanian residents, who have a suitable premises to undertake 14 days quarantine, can apply to enter Tasmania as an Essential Traveller. If you don’t have a suitable residence you will be required to quarantine in Government-designated quarantine – fees may apply.

    Anyone who arrives before the declaration takes effect will be allowed to enter Tasmania unless they have spent time in identified high-risk premises.

    Anyone currently in Tasmania who has been in Victoria is asked to monitor themselves for cold or flu symptoms and if they develop any symptoms, even if mild, to call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a COVID-19 test.

    A number of premises in Victoria remain high-risk (Level 1) - see Travel Alert for more details.

    The situation is evolving, please check the Travel Alert page regularly for an updated list of high-risk premises. If you have been at any of the premises at the dates and times identified, please call the hotline for further advice.


    Provisional approval of Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years

    4 August

    On 23 July the Therapeutic Goods Administration provisionally approved the Pfizer vaccine to be extended from people aged 16 years and over to include children aged 12-15 years.

    The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has reviewed all of the clinical evidence and data from clinical trials and has recommended that the following adolescents aged 12-15 years be eligible for vaccination:

    • children with specified medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19 (including asthma, diabetes, obesity, cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies, neuro developmental disorders, epilepsy, immuno-compromised and trisomy 21)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 12–15 years
    • all children aged 12–15 years in remote communities, as part of broader community outreach vaccination programs that provide vaccines for all ages (12 years and above).

    This change in eligibility will come into effect from Monday 9 August.

    Other children aged 12-15 years will likely become eligible later in 2021 after older age groups have been vaccinated.


    Check in TAS update

    31 July

    Further changes to Check in TAS have come into effect, with a larger number of locations now required to use Check in TAS from today. See the updated list of businesses and organisations.

    Every person who enters a premises must use Check in TAS, regardless of how long they stay. This includes staff, who must check in once per day. If you don’t have a smartphone or are unable to use one, others in your group or staff at the premises can check in for you.

    Check in TAS collects contact information on each person entering a premises, helping to strengthen the Tasmanian Government’s contact tracing capability in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

    More information for members of the community, and businesses and organisations, see Check in TAS


    Pfizer now available to Tasmanians over 30 years

    30 July

    The Tasmanian Government has announced that 30-to-39 year olds are now eligible for vaccination.

    Tasmanians in this age group will be able to make an appointment for a Pfizer vaccine in State Government Community Clinics.

    Bookings can be made from Saturday 31 July by booking online or by calling the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

    To check your eligibility or for further information please visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/my-vaccine


    NSW declared high-risk (Level 1) from midnight

    24 July

    Public Health Services have announced that all of NSW will be upgraded to high-risk (Level 1) from 12.01am tomorrow (Sunday 25 July 2021).

    From Sunday 25 July 2021, anyone who has spent time in NSW in the 14 days before arriving in Tasmania - including returning Tasmanians - will not be permitted to enter Tasmania unless approved as an Essential Traveller.

    If approved, quarantine is required and must be undertaken in government-designated accommodation at their own cost. Travellers arriving in the 24 hours after the change of declaration will not be required to pay the quarantine fee.

    Travellers can apply for Essential Traveller status via the G2G PASS system.

    Essential Traveller status will not be granted to anyone who has spent time in a high-risk (Level 1) premises at the specified dates and times. This includes Tasmanian residents. See the list on the Travel Alert page.

    Essential Travellers approved before 12.01am Sunday 25 July 2021 under category 3 (transport, freight and logistics) must continue to meet all existing conditions as specified in their G2G PASS. Read the Essential Traveller conditions.


    COVID-19 test online registration form

    13 July

    A new way to arrange a COVID-19 test is now available. An online registration form is available for COVID-19 testing in Hobart and Launceston.

    COVID-19 test appointments can still be made without filling out the online registration form, by calling the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

    If you have any symptoms, even if they are mild, get tested. Stay at home until you get your test result. Test results are provided within 24-48 hours.

    Drive up testing clinics with no bookings are still available in Burnie and Devonport.

    For more information see Testing for COVID-19 FAQs. To register online for a COVID-19 test visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/testing