Self isolation FAQ’s
1.1 Who needs to self-isolate?
Everyone coming into Tasmania will now be required to quarantine for 14 days. This means domestic travellers from mainland Australia and those travelling from overseas.
People need to self-isolate at home or in their accommodation if they:
- Have returned from overseas on or after 16 March
- Have been in or transited through China or Iran in the past 14 days
- Have returned from South Korea on or after 5 March
- Have returned from Italy on or after 11 March
- Been in ‘close contact’ with a confirmed case
- Develop fever OR acute respiratory infection (eg shortness of breath, cough, sore throat) within 14 days of returning from anywhere overseas.
- Have arrived in Tasmania from overseas or interstate on or after 20 March
Those who return from overseas on or after 16 March (1 above) need to self-isolate at home or in their accommodation for 14 days. If they remain well, they can then leave self-isolation and return to normal activities.
Those who have travelled or been in contact with a confirmed case (2–5 above) need to self-isolate for 14 days from leaving mainland China, South Korea, Italy or Iran or having close contact with a confirmed case. If they remain well, they can then leave self-isolation and return to work /school and normal duties.
Those who are sick (6 above) should self-isolate and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.
1.2 Who is exempt from self-isolation?
There are some circumstances in which an exemption from the need to quarantine can be sought. Each application for exemption will be assessed individually on its merits.
Essential travellers are defined under the following criteria:
1.2.1 National and State Security and Governance
- Any Government senior official who in the carriage of his or her duties is responsible for the safety of the Nation or State against threats such as terrorism, war, or espionage, and is required to be present in Tasmania for such purposes;
- Active Military personnel required to be on duty in Tasmania while in Tasmania; and
- A member of the Commonwealth Parliament who is ordinarily resident in Tasmania.
1.2.2 Health Services
- A clinician in relation to health who is ordinarily resident in Tasmania and who is requested by the Secretary of the Department of Health, or his or her delegate, to return to Tasmania to present for duty in Tasmania.
- A clinician in relation to health who is requested by the Secretary of the Department of Health, or his or her delegate, to present for duty in Tasmania to perform, during the period in which the person will be present in Tasmania, duties unable to be appropriately performed by a person ordinarily resident in Tasmania.
1.2.3 Transport, freight and logistics
- Any person who in the carriage of his or her duties is responsible for provision of transport or freight and logistics into, within and out of Tasmania; and
- Flight Crew and ship crew, for the limited period of delivery of persons, freight or logistics into, within and out of Tasmania, and for no other purpose.
1.2.4 Specialist skills critical to maintaining key industries or businesses
- Any specialists required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operations where the appropriate skills are not available in Tasmania, where the service is time-critical and where the provision of the service requires that the person be physically present in Tasmania.
- Any person who, in the carriage of his or her duties, is responsible, while in Tasmania, for critical maintenance or repair of infrastructure critical to Tasmania;
- Any person travelling from Antarctica directly to Tasmania.
1.2.5 An emergency service worker
- A paramedic, or an officer of Ambulance Tasmania within the meaning of the Ambulance Service Act 1982, who is returning to Tasmania as soon as practicable after providing medical transport to a patient or who is returning to Tasmania while providing medical transport to a person;
- A paramedic, or an officer of Ambulance Tasmania within the meaning of the Ambulance Service Act 1982, who is ordinarily resident in Tasmania and who is requested by the Commissioner of Ambulance Services, or his or her delegate, to return to Tasmania to present for duty in Tasmania.
1.2.6 Any other person, or class of persons, as exempted by the Secretary Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
- Any other person, or member of a class of persons, in relation to whom, in the opinion of the Secretary DPIPWE, self-quarantine would lead to an unusual, undeserved or disproportionate hardship; and
- Any other person, or member of a class of persons, who, in the opinion of the Secretary DPIPWE, is essential for the proper functioning of Tasmania.
1.2.7 Other exemptions
There are some other circumstances in which an exemption from the need to quarantine can be sought. Each application for exemption will be assessed individually on its merits.
Reasons for seeking an exemption may include compassionate grounds e.g. visiting a terminally ill relative or medical grounds e.g. interstate travel for essential medical treatment.
If you wish to seek an exemption on these or other grounds you must complete an application form. If your application has not been assessed and approved by the time you arrive in Tasmania you must begin the mandatory 14 days of quarantine until your application has been approved.
Being exempt from the need to quarantine for 14 days does not make visitors exempt from following other directions to limit the spread of coronavirus. All visitors must exercise a high degree of caution and practice social distancing measures whilst in Tasmania to conduct their essential business
1.3 Why do you have to isolate yourself for a whole 14 days?
If you have been told to 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. Isolating yourself is very important to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Tasmania. If you have been told to isolate at home, you must do so.
You should monitor your health during this time, and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 if you begin to feel unwell.
For more information go to Self-isolation for people who are not sick
1.4 What does ‘self-isolate’ mean?
People who need to isolate must stay at home or in their accommodation and not attend public places, including work, shops, places of worship, school, childcare or public areas of university, higher education and vocational education campuses. Only people they usually live with should stay in the home or accommodation. Do not see visitors. Where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated, to get food or other necessities.
If a person in isolation must leave the home or residence, such as to seek medical care, they should wear a surgical mask if they have one. For more information, see the ‘‘Home isolation and care resources’ on the Australian Government Department of Health website.
1.5 I’m in home 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 home isolation.
King Island Foodworks offer online shopping www.KingIsland.myfoodworks.com.au or phone your orders to 6462 1144
King Island IGA offer a delivery service around town ph 6462 1244
Both stores are working closely with the Post Office who are delivering to existing roadside delivery customers Monday, Wednesday and Friday at a small charge.
Please contact our Pharmacy if you need assistance with your medication ph 6462 1395.
1.6 What should I do if I become unwell after leaving home 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 isolation, see your doctor.
1.7 I live with someone who’s in home isolation. Do I need to self-isolate too?
If the person you live with who is in home isolation is well, you don’t need to stay in home 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.
1.8 I live with someone who’s in home isolation and I’m at risk of severe illness (underlying health condition like heart disease / cancer, or elderly) 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 home-isolation that would be wise.
- Try to keep your distance from the person in home 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.
1.9 Hotels and Short-term accommodation providers that require guests to self-isolate
If guests need to self-isolate, it is important that staff and guests take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. The risk to staff is low if they wash and dry their hands well and take simple precautions.
Staff must avoid close contact with these guests but it is safe to be in the same room for cleaning (maintaining at least 1.5m or two large steps from guests).
Some measures which staff can implement include:
- Reduce cleaning to every second day instead of daily
- Leave meals at door
- Wear gloves when collecting used trays/handling used eating utensils
If a person who has self-isolated develops symptoms, they should contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.
For more information, see the Information for hotels and short-term accommodation providers that require guests to self-isolate.
Home isolation or quarantine periods can be stressful and may leave you feeling concerned. There are a range of support services available, including talking to a councillor or other mental health professional.
Head to Health – www.headtohealth.gov.au
Head to Health provides links to trusted Australian mental health online and phone supports, resources and treatment options. This useful website also has online programs and forums, as well as a range of digital information resources.
Using the search page, you can navigate to various resources and services for help if you’re experiencing mental health concerns, or trying to support someone else. If you’re not sure where to start, you can also use Sam the Chatbot. Sam provides tailored recommendations on information and services that best suit your needs.
Some of the support services available are listed below:
|13 11 14 lifeline.org.au
|1300 224 636 beyondblue.org.au/forums
|1300 789 978 mensline.org.au
|1800 551 800 kidshelpline.com.au
|1800 650 890 headspace.org.au
|Life in Mind
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
Please be advised that information shared by Council and posted on this page regarding the COVID-19 response was correct at the time of publication.
Due to the dynamic nature of the federal and state governments responses to the pandemic – information, fact sheets, and government websites are being updated but often are lagging as the situation changes and new orders and/or directives become law and recommendations or guidelines are put into place.