International arrivals to Tasmania
International arrivals in Tasmania (other than from New Zealand) include passengers from mercy/repatriation flights as well as international workers who are in the state to help with this season’s summer harvest. Every precaution is being taken to make sure that international arrivals can be managed safely in Tasmania and our community can remain protected.
Arrivals and quarantine processes
All international arrivals undertake 14 days mandatory quarantine in government-designated accommodation. Tasmania’s quarantine program is based on Public Health advice and has been refined by our experiences in conducting the program to date and lessons learned interstate and overseas. Australian Border Force, Australian Federal Police and Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment are supporting the arrival of repatriated Australians through Hobart Airport.
There are two hotels designated for international quarantine and a third hotel is used for any COVID-positive cases. If a case is more serious the patient will be managed at the Royal Hobart Hospital following strict infection control measures.
The Department of Communities Tasmania oversees the government-managed hotel quarantine program, with coordination by the State Control Centre. An Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) provides specialist clinical advice and guidance for repatriation flights.
The Australian Government provides access to medical supplies, including pharmaceuticals and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), to ensure adequate health services are available. Tasmania Police manages security, assisted by Australian Defence Force (ADF) and private security.
Testing and cases
A robust program is in place to identify and manage COVID-19 cases, which are expected in quarantine because of the higher risk posed by international travellers.
Before arriving in Tasmania, all international travellers aged 12 years and over are required to return a negative COVID-19 test result. Individuals are tested again after arrival and then at regular intervals during their stay in hotel quarantine and must return a negative test result before being released from hotel quarantine.
Protecting staff and the broader community
All staff working in the Tasmanian Government’s hotel quarantine program, including government and non-government staff, are required to undertake COVID-19 testing as part of their conditions of employment.
Staff must undergo saliva screening every shift they work in addition to a throat and nasal swab test every five to eight days until 14 days after they complete their last shift at quarantine sites. See testing for workers at government-designated quarantine sites for more information .
In addition to regular testing, quarantine hotel employees are asked to disclose any secondary places of employment with a view to supporting hotel staff to work only in a quarantine hotel.
All non-government staff employed at the quarantine hotels are eligible to receive a full-time salary (based on a 38-hour work week) whilst employed at the quarantine hotel facility. This is for casual and part-time employees regardless of the number of hours they work. This arrangement will remain in place whilst the employee remains part of the quarantine workforce.
All staff must also adopt COVID safe practices outside of work. These include immediately changing and washing clothes after each shift, limiting contact with the elderly or people with poor health, and avoiding larger social gatherings. Employees are required to follow robust infection prevention and control measures during all phases of the quarantine process.