11 December 2020
This resource explains the basis for, and extent of, the Tasmanian restrictions related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) as at 11 December 2020.
In Tasmania, two emergency declarations have been made in response to COVID-19:
A Public Health Emergency allows the Tasmanian Director of Public Health to make directions to quarantine or isolate people in any area and to generally manage a threat to public health. We will refer to these as Public Health Powers.
The State of Emergency declaration allows the State Controller to exercise special powers in the Emergency Management Act. We will refer to these as Emergency Powers.
During the State of Emergency, the State Controller has broad powers to address the emergency. The Emergency Powers most relevant to the COVID-19 response include the power to:
While a Public Health Emergency is in force, Tasmania’s Director of Public Health can take action or make directions to:
The Director can also direct:
All employees of Biosecurity Tasmania are able to exercise the Emergency Powers under the Emergency Management Act.
Employees of Biosecurity Victoria may enter premises without notice where they enter in relation to COVID-19. In other circumstances, they must give reasonable notice of less than three days.
Police may only exercise their Emergency Powers to ensure compliance with restrictions imposed using the Director of Public Health’s directions and directions made by the State Controller. The Director of Public Health can authorise other people or classes of people to carry out their directions.
Police and others assisting to carry out the Director of Public Health’s directions may:
The Public Health Powers and Emergency Powers currently:
Visits to hospitals are also limited by a state-wide policy.
See above the linked Tasmanian Government’s explanations of these directions, but see our explanation of the COVID-19 diagnosis rules below.
If you are a community organisation, find out about how these restrictions impact your duties to employees and volunteers.
There are additional restrictions made through Federal Government powers. To understand those restrictions, see our Federal Government resource.
The Director of Public Health has issued this direction under the Public Health Powers to prevent or permit access to any area and to manage the threat to public health.
Any person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 must remain at, or travel directly to, a hospital for treatment or a place that is suitable for the person to stay in until they are is given a release from isolation.
A person diagnosed with COVID-19 may only leave the place they are self-isolating to seek medical care or in an emergency.
To be released from isolation, a medical practitioner or person approved by the Director of Public Health must be satisfied the later of one of these two factors has been met:
For example, if a person first started showing symptoms a week ago, but has not had symptoms for four days, they would still need to wait for another three days until they could cease isolating.
If the person diagnosed is a healthcare worker, they must not return to work unless they are released from quarantine, and have met the CDNA National Guidelines for Public Health Units.
A person diagnosed with COVID-19 must not allow any other person to have close contact with them, unless that person is:
Close contact means at least 15 minutes of face-to-face contact or being in the same room for at least two hours.
Failing to comply with a direction issued under the Public Health Powers can result in a fine of up to $16,800 or six months’ imprisonment.
A warrant may be issued if a person fails to comply with a direction given by the Director of Public Health. Warrants may be issued for the apprehension of a person, authorising entry of any premises if Police officer believes the person subject to the warrant is on the premises, and authorising the detention, isolation or quarantine of the person until the person can be brought before the magistrate.
Failing to comply with a direction issued under the Emergency Power can results in a penalty, specific to the offence.
If you receive a fine, you may choose to seek legal advice. You may have a defence if there was a reasonable reason for you being unable to follow the direction.
If you or your family are directed to do something using the Emergency Powers or Public Health Powers, you can get legal advice through Justice Connect.
If you have a legal problem related to COVID-19, apply for free legal help from Justice Connect.
This resource is accurate as at 11 December 2020. You should review the Tasmanian Government website for the most up to date information.
This is a Tasmanian resource.
 Public Health Act 1997 (Tas) (Public Health Act) s 14; Dr Scott, Acting Director of Public Health, Public Health Emergency for Tasmania Declared, 17 March 2020; Public Health Act 1997 Section 15, Extension of Emergency Declaration, 20 November 2020.
 Emergency Management Act 2006 (Tas) (Emergency Management Act) s 42; Tasmanian Government Gazette No.21 953, Emergency Management Act 2006, Declaration of State of Emergency, 20 March 2020; Emergency Management Act 2006, Extension of Declaration of State of Emergency, 11 June 2020; Emergency Management Act 2006, Extension of Declaration of State of Emergency, 8 July 2020; Emergency Management Act 2006, Extension of Declaration of State of Emergency, 28 August 2020.
 Public Health Act s 14.
 Emergency Management Act s 42(3) and (4).
 Emergency Management Act sch 1.
 Emergency Management Act sch 2.
 Emergency Management Act sch 2.
 Public Health Act s 16(1).
 Public Health Act s 16(2).
 Tasmanian Government Gazette No.21 953, Emergency Management Act, Authorisation of Authorised Officers, 20 March 2020; Tasmanian Government Gazette No.21 954, Emergency Management Act 2006, Authorisation of Emergency Powers, 23 March 2020.
 Emergency Management Act, sch 1(3).
 Public Health Act, s 17(1) and (2).
 Public Health Act, s 17(3).
 Public Health Act s 16(1); Public Health Act 1997 Direction under section 16 (Management of premises – No 9), 11 December 2020; Direction under section 16, Mass Gatherings – No. 1), 27 November 2020.
 As above.
 Public Health Act 1997, Direction under section 16 (Workplace COVID Plan – No 1), 14 June 2020; Direction under section 16 (Contact Tracing – No 3), 9 December 2020.
 Emergency Management Act Schedule 1, s 1(1)(b),(q),(t); Emergency Management Act 2006, Directions in Relation to Persons Arriving in Tasmania, 2 December 2020; Directions in Relation to Arrival Requirements for Certain Travellers into Tasmania – No. 2, 25 November 2020; Public Health Act 1997, Direction in Relation to Testing of Persons Involved in International Arrivals – No. 1), 8 December 2020.
 Emergency Management Act Schedule 1, s 1(1)(b),(q),(t); Emergency Management Act 2006, Directions in Relation to Persons Arriving in Tasmania, 2 December 2020.
 As above.
 Public Health Act s 16A.
 As above.
 See for example, Emergency Management Act s 37(8).