Self-isolation

Recently updated
Last Updated: 29 Mar 2020 1:32pm

Who needs to self-isolate

You must self-isolate for 14 days if you:

  1. Have arrived in Australia on or after 16 March 2020 but prior to 11:59pm Saturday 28 March 2020*
  2. Have arrived in Tasmania on or after 21 March 2020 but prior to 11:59pm Sunday 29 March 2020**
  3. Have been in ‘close contact’ with a confirmed case.

*From 11:59pm Saturday 28 March 2020, every person arriving in Australia from overseas since 14 March is required to enter a 14 day period of self-isolation at their point of arrival into Australia.

**From 11:59pm Sunday 29 March 2020, every person arriving in Tasmania, including Tasmanian residents, (with the exception of Essential Travellers) is required to enter a 14 day period of self-isolation in government provided accommodation on arrival in Tasmania.

See Coming to Tasmania for more information on Tasmanian border restrictions and self-isolation requirements.

What does ‘self-isolate’ mean

For people who have arrived in Australia

You cannot leave your port of entry and go to your private residence or previously arranged accommodation. All international and cruise ship arrivals (before 11:59pm Sunday 29 March 2020) and all people entering Tasmania after 11:59pm Sunday 29 March 2020 must report directly to Biosecurity Tasmania staff at your port of entry.

You will be required to complete a Tasmanian Arrivals Form. Arrangements will be made for your transport to the government provided accommodation. You will be provided with additional information about arrangements for your self-isolation upon your arrival in Tasmania.

Further information about food, assistance and other information will be provided to you on arrival in Tasmania.

For 'close contacts' of a confirmed case

During the 14 days of self-isolation, you must stay at home or in your accommodation, except to access important, arranged medical care. Don’t go to public places, including work, school, childcare, university, shops or attend public gatherings. Only people who usually live with you should be in the home. Do not see visitors.

Why do you have to self-isolate for 14 days

If you have been required to self-isolate it is because you might become unwell with coronavirus. It can take up to 14 days for people who have been infected with the virus to become sick, and it’s possible to spread the virus to others 24 hours before you feel sick.

Self-isolating is very important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Tasmania. If you have been told to self-isolate at home, you must do so. Breaching the self-isolation process may incur a penalty of up to $16,800.

You should monitor your health during this time, and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 if you begin to feel unwell.

See Important information about self isolation for more information.

How to travel to home isolation if you need to use public transport

For close contacts of confirmed cases, when travelling to your home to start your isolation period, use private transport if you can, to protect others, and go straight there.

If you need to use public transport (buses, taxis, ride-hail services), you must:

  • Wear a surgical facemask, if you can.
  • Wash your hands before boarding and after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose.
  • Try to keep away from others, especially elderly people.
  • Keep your hands to yourself as much as possible; minimise the things you touch.
  • Avoid direct contact with other passengers and drivers.
  • Cough / sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow; and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Can I leave self-isolation to access medical care

You can leave self-isolation to access arranged medical care when this is supported by your healthcare provider and it cannot safely or feasibly be postponed. You must contact your healthcare provider beforehand and let them know you are in self-isolation for COVID-19. Your healthcare provider will determine if your appointment can be deferred and will provide advice on safe travel if the appointment proceeds.

For these purposes, medical care includes:

  • Antenatal appointments
  • Specialist appointments
  • Outpatient clinic appointments
  • Urgent primary care appointments with your doctor that cannot be safely postponed
  • Urgent and emergency transport to hospital.

I’m in self-isolation and need to get some groceries/go to the chemist

It is very important that you don’t leave your home while you’re in self-isolation. If possible, ask a neighbour, family member or friend to help you. Some supermarkets and greengrocers also provide a home-delivery service for groceries. If this isn't an option, you should contact the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for emergency assistance.

Can I leave the house (eg to walk the dog or for daily exercise)

If you are in self-isolation, no – you need to stay on your property.

If you are not in self-isolation then you are still able to leave the property. There is no need to wear a facemask if you are well. It is a requirement to observe the public health advice regarding social distancing at all times.

See Important information about self isolation for more information.

What should I do if I become unwell after leaving self-isolation

While COVID-19 is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying symptoms such as fever, cough and sore throat are much more likely to be suffering from a cold or other respiratory illness – not COVID-19.

However, as a precaution, if you do develop these symptoms soon after leaving self-isolation, see your doctor.

I live with someone who’s in self-isolation. Do I need to self-isolate too

If the person you live with who is in self-isolation is well, you don’t need to stay in self-isolation. It’s OK to go to work /school. As always, cover any coughs or sneezes and wash your hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose.

If the person who you live with gets sick and becomes a confirmed case, then you will need to self-isolate for 14 days. If you don’t get sick in that time, you’ll be free to leave home isolation.

I live with someone who’s in self-isolation and I’m at risk of severe illness (elderly, or underlying health condition like heart disease or cancer). How can I protect myself

People can spread the virus to others up to 24 hours before they show signs of being sick, so it’s important to protect yourself. If you have an option of living elsewhere while the person is in self-isolation that would be wise.

Otherwise:

  • Try to keep your distance from the person in self-isolation. Stay in separate rooms if you can and use separate bathrooms.
  • If you need to share a bathroom, keep toothbrushes and face washers / towels separate.
  • Don’t share drinks or food.
  • Wash your hands after touching crockery or cutlery used by the person in home isolation.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before touching your face and preparing food/drinks or eating.

I have information / concerns about non-compliance with self-isolation requirements

If you have information or concerns regarding non-compliance with self-isolation requirements, you can fill out this form.