Isolation

Last Updated: 16 Nov 2021 3:58pm

Isolating from other people when you have COVID-19 is the best way to protect your family and friends from getting the infection and prevent the virus from spreading in the Tasmanian community.

You must isolate if you:

  • have been tested for COVID-19 and haven’t yet received your result
  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • are suspected of having COVID-19.

Depending on your circumstances, you will need to isolate in one of the following:

  • your home or other suitable accommodation
  • hospital, if you need hospital care
  • a government-managed community case management facility.

If you are not at home/your accommodation when you find out you have tested positive to COVID-19, you must go straight home/to your accommodation. You cannot stop anywhere on the way home, not even to buy medicine or groceries.

You must use personal transport such as a private car. If this is not available, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 and advise that you require immediate assistance with transport.

You must stay isolated until Public Health advises you that it is safe for you to leave isolation.

If you leave isolation without permission, you may face criminal charges or a fine.

Isolation means you:

  • must not leave your home or accommodation where you are isolating, except in an emergency or to get essential medical care
  • must not go into public places including work and shops
  • must not let any other person into your home unless the person
    • lives with you and cannot live somewhere else – this person then becomes a close contact and must quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to you whilst you were infectious (see close contacts for more information),
    • is providing medical care for you – this person then becomes a close contact and must quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to you whilst you were infectious is entering for an emergency.

If you live in a house, you may go into your private garden or courtyard.

You can go onto your private balcony if you live in an apartment or are staying in a hotel.

FAQs on isolation



  1. If you test positive for COVID-19 you will be notified by Public Health.
  2. If you are not at home/the place where you will isolate, you must immediately go home/to your accommodation and isolate. Do not make any stops on the way home. Once you are at home/the place where you will isolate, you cannot leave for any reason unless it is an emergency, you need medical help, or to escape family violence.
  3. If you are unsure where you should isolate or do not have a place where you can do so safely, you should call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.
  4. A Public Health contact tracer will talk to you about what you need to do, who you have been in contact with and where you have been to help identify your close contacts.
  5. You will be contacted by Tasmanian Health Services to discuss your health care needs and make arrangements for your medical care as required.
  6. You will also need to tell the people you live with that you are isolating at home. This is important as they will need to quarantine themselves and arrange a COVID-19 test.
  7. Public Health will contact you to tell you when you have completed isolation and can safely leave your home/accommodation and resume normal daily activities.

When you test positive to COVID-19, Public Health begins contact tracing – this is to identify the places you’ve visited and the people you have been with to determine who your contacts are.

It is important for you to work with the contact tracer to identify all your contacts and locations you’ve been to as soon as possible, so that Public Health can contact them and put measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Tasmania.

You will need to be prepared to answer questions about where you’ve been and who you have been with in the days prior to your positive test. Your check in history on your Check in Tas App is a good place to start, as well as your diary, calendar, and credit/debit card statements.

Public Health will assess whether you can isolate at home.

You will need to be able to isolate in a separate unit or area of the house where you will not have any contact with other people.

If this is not possible, you will need to isolate in another premises, or you may be able to have your family be with you.

If others remain in the house where you are isolating, they will be considered close contacts and will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to you, or as directed by Public Health.

Even if you feel well, you need to remain in isolation until you are told by Public Health that it is safe for you to leave your home or accommodation.

If you start to feel unwell or your symptoms get worse but are not serious, you should contact:

  • your doctor (GP)
  • Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738
  • Tasmanian Health Service – if they are involved in your care.

Make sure you let them know that you have COVID-19 and that you are in isolation when you make contact.

*Important: if you feel very unwell or have difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance and tell them that you have COVID-19 and are in isolation.

If you have COVID-19 you need to isolate for at least 14 days, however this depends on:

  • if you have had symptoms,
  • when your symptoms have resolved
  • whether you are significantly immunocompromised.

Public Health will advise you when it is safe for you to leave your home or accommodation.

If you’re unsure when you can leave isolation, call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 or talk to the Public Health team when they contact you.

It is important that you look after yourself while you are in isolation. If you require assistance see:

Before you can be released from isolation, your health care provider will do an assessment and decide if your isolation can end.

Once Public Health confirms you are no longer required to isolate, you will then be able to return to your normal activities in line with any restrictions in place at your location.

*Important: you must continue to isolate until you are released by Public Health.

No. You must remain in your home/accommodation until your isolation period has ended.

You must not change your address during your isolation unless you are authorised to do so.

While you are in isolation you must stay at home/your accommodation (or another suitable place where you are isolating).

If you are isolating in a private house or apartment you can go outside to your own garden, balcony, or courtyard. You cannot go into a garden or courtyard area that you share with other households, such as a common garden or courtyard in an apartment building or other type of accommodation.

You are permitted to leave home/your accommodation to seek urgent medical care.

You are also permitted to leave home/your accommodation in an emergency, if required by law, or if an exemption is provided by the Director of Public Health.

If you do leave your home/accommodation for any of these permitted reasons, you must wear a fitted face mask at all times.

You are not allowed to leave your home for any other reason, including shopping or exercise, while you are in isolation.

No. If you are in isolation, it is because you have tested positive to COVID-19, and you are unable to visit a hospital except to access urgent medical care.

If you are in isolation because you have been tested for COVID-19, you should wait until you get a negative result and your symptoms of COVID-19 have resolved before you visit someone in hospital.

Ask your child’s teachers to supply assignments, work sheets and homework by post or email, and see if your child can join classes online.

While you are in isolation:

  • you can only leave home to access urgent medical care, in an emergency, or if an exemption is granted by the Director of Public Health
  • you are not allowed to leave home for shopping or exercise.

You must not allow anyone else to enter your home unless:

  • they are also quarantining or isolating there
  • other limited circumstances – for example, an emergency situation.

You should order food or supplies to be delivered to your house, or have friends, family, or your carer drop off supplies to your house.

Anyone delivering these items should leave the supplies at your door. They must not enter your house or come into contact with you. This is to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Support is available if you need help while in isolation, see:

If you need assistance from an external provider due to your age, disability, or a chronic health condition, you will likely be transferred to a community case management facility or a hospital so that you can be appropriately supported whilst you have COVID-19.

Yes, although the delivery person must leave your delivery outside your door.

They must not enter your home or come close to you in any way.

Consider making payment for the delivery online in advance or using a contactless payment method to minimise the chances of physical contact. Avoid paying by cash.

No. If you are confirmed as having COVID-19, you cannot leave your home to exercise.

Penalties will apply.

Public Health will contact you regularly to discuss your isolation needs and connect you to relevant community or support health services that you might need.

Public Health may also contact you for additional information to assist with contact tracing.

A doctor or nurse will contact you regularly to check on your health.

Tasmania Police may also visit your house to check that you are OK and to collect information about any people living with you.

When you have met the requirements to be released from isolation, Public Health will be in contact with you and provide you a letter to advise that you have been released from isolation.

This letter can be used as evidence for work, travel, or education that you have met the criteria and are no longer required to be in isolation.

Most people do not need a test before being released from isolation as long as the symptoms of COVID-19 have resolved and you have been in isolation for 14 days.

Public Health may ask you to be tested again if you:

  • are significantly immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system prone to infection)
  • have continuing symptoms.

If you are at home with someone who is in isolation and they become unwell, you can help them by contacting their doctor or nurse so that they can discuss their health needs with a medical professional.

If they develop serious symptoms or have difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. Let the operator know that the person needing help has COVID-19 and is in isolation.

Think about elderly friends, neighbours, and people with a disability in your community and how you can support each other during a period of quarantine or isolation.

If you are not currently in quarantine or isolation, but family or friends are, think about how you might be able to help them out, such as regularly checking in by phone or by supporting them to get food and other necessities.

*Remember – you cannot enter the premises where someone is in isolation or quarantine.

A doctor or nurse and Public Health will be in contact regularly to check in and see how you are going. This may be using SMS messaging or a phone call.

Tasmania Police will also conduct checks to ensure people who are in isolation are complying with directions by staying at home.

Police can take enforcement action if necessary.