Background

COVID-19 Information

UPDATED: 9 May 2022, 1.30pm EDST (you may need to refresh this web page to get the latest update)

The official Tasmanian Government Covid-19 information is available at www.coronavirus.gov.tas.au.

Below are updates particularly relevant to Tasmanian wine businesses - these are listed in chronological order. If you have any questions regarding a specific issue that is not addressed below, please get in touch with Wine Tasmania at any time (Sheralee - 0407 004 959 or sdavies@winetasmania.net.au, Paul - 0414 980 798, psmart@winetasmania.net.au).


  • 11 March 2022: Additional changes regarding face masks apply from 5.00pm - further details here.
  • 4 March 2022: The Premier has announced that masks will no longer be required for customers in some retail settings from midnight 4 March 2022, although they are still required to be worn in hospitality venues until Friday 11 March and staff in these settings are still required to wear masks. There has been no advice on when they will no longer be required to be worn in licensed premises such as pubs or if requirements for staff will also be eased. Keep an eye on updates here.
  • 18 February 2022: QR Codes will no longer be required for cellar doors, wineries and vineyards as of 6pm on 18 February. You can take down your QR Code notices at this time and store them, should they need to be used in the future. Further details here.
  • 14 January 2022: Funding support announced for businesses impacted by staff having to quarantine, having to close due to a Public Health direction, with turnover less than 30% year on year (December / January) and where perishable goods have been impacted - further details here.
  • 13 January 2022: Temporary exemption from close contact for critical workers / industries - the Premier has announced that businesses in critical industries (including agriculture / food) can apply for a "critical" worker to be exempt from quarantine requirements if they are a close contact. Applications can be made after a business has exhausted all other options and can demonstrate that this worker is essential for the supply of critical goods and services. In a wine businesses setting, this might apply to pickers or winery staff (where there are no other options or an absence for seven days is not possible), but would not apply to cellar door staff - it is not based on business viability or activity, but in relation to the production / supply of essential goods and services. There are conditions associated with exempted workers, where approved, and other workers need to be consulted. Each business should undertake its own risk assessment, given that approximately 20% of close contacts end up contracting Covid (source: Public Health) and may lead to more issues or infection in the workplace. Further details here, applications open 12.00pm EDST on 14 January.
  • 11 January 2022: Protecting workers & preparing for vintage:
    • With updated directions coming into place from 7 January 2022, only staff that test positive for Covid (via an RAT or PCR) are required to isolate. Other staff are generally able to continue working, unless they share a house or have prolonged exposure with the positive case or if they start to show symptoms - view further details here.
    • Ensure you put in place mandatory and best practice guidelines to protect staff and your business, such as wearing masks (mandatory) and social distancing, identify shared facilities, machinery, equipment and tools and implement a regular cleaning process, encourage staff to be vaccinated (or implement mandatory vaccination in your business, with consideration to legal requirements - view guide here), advise staff that they should not come to work if feeling unwell, consider splitting workers into separate groups / shifts and ensuring deep cleaning / sanitation occurs between shifts (if possible), know what will happen if a worker tests positive for Covid (including leave policies and potential access to pandemic payments), have rapid antigen tests available for staff and encourage them to have "survival kits" at home if they need to isolate (example here), consider working from home arrangements - which employees could work from home and what would be needed to facilitate this? For wine businesses with cellar doors or hosting events, view further information for licensed premises and events here, noting that vaccination is mandatory for both staff and customers if you offer stand-up wine tastings and appropriate signage should be displayed, though it is not your responsibility to verify that customers are fully vaccinated. In addition to mandatory mask wearing and regular cleaning / sanitising, consider how to best protect your hospitality / cellar door staff and minimise face to face contact with customers and each other, including things like self serving ordering and payment via QR codes on tables (available through Square and other systems).
    • Reminder: Guidelines to help with Covid planning / procedures - general cleaning / disinfection, in the vineyard and in the winery.
  • 7 January 2022: Business Tasmania update outlining changes to testing, contacts and quarantine requirements recently announced, with a further update from Tourism Tasmania.
  • 6 January 2022: Tasmania will move to rapid antigen testing (RAT) as the primary diagnosis of Covid, with a positive result from an RAT no longer needing to be followed up with a PCR. People returning a positive RAT result need to register that result with Public Health and follow the requirements of a positive Covid result - view further details here. Additionally, if you have a positive Covid case within your workforce, other staff will no longer be automatically identified as close contacts or need to quarantine, but should monitor themselves for symptoms - see further details here. Also note that exposure sites will no longer be published due to the rapid spread of Omicron - view further details here.
  • 4 January 2022: The definition of "close contacts" has recently been updated by the Tasmanian Government - view further details here. A reminder of the financial support available to anyone having to isolate, miss work and therefore unable to earn an income - further details here.
  • 20 December 2021: Masks are mandatory from Tuesday 21 December in all public indoor settings in Tasmania - this includes cellar doors / restaurants - staff and guests, although guests can briefly remove masks to eat and drink - view further details here.
  • 17 December 2021: More Tasmanian Government resources available to help with Covid planning - who's a close contact, who's a casual contact, what will happen in a Covid case is detected in your business and how do you minimise the risk to your staff? View the resources section at the bottom of the Covid Case & Outbreak Management information (including the exposure risk matrix for general workplaces and additional information for mask / personal protective equipment worn)
  • 14 December 2021: Guidelines to help with Covid planning / procedures - general cleaning / disinfection, in the vineyard and in the winery.
  • 13 December 2021: Pandemic leave disaster payment available for people having to self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone with Covid - further details here.
  • 7 December 2021: Email to Wine Tasmania members with Covid updates and information ahead of borders fully reopening on 15 December.
  • 3 December 2021: Cellar doors conducting standing tastings or tours (etc) as well as holding events are incorporated into the new mandatory vaccination requirements for customers (from 6 December) and staff (from 15 December) - view further details here, including signage you can use in your business.
  • 2 December 2021: New information on preparing for Covid produced for tourism and hospitality businesses here.
  • 26 November 2021: The Premier has announced further details regarding requirements in the case of a positive Covid detection - view the associated TCCI update here.
  • 19 November 2021: Restrictions around dancing and drinking while standing will be lifted from 6 December, alongside new mandatory vaccination requirements for patrons (by 6 December) and staff (by 15 December) at venues and events that are considered "high risk" - ie with lots of people mingling, drinking and dancing. Further details will be advised, but this is not expected to apply to restaurants / cellar doors where guests are seated, which is considered lower risk. The Premier's regular updates are available here and visit the official website above for all the latest.
  • 17 November 2021: Adding proof of vaccination status to Check in Tas.
  • 10 November 2021: Practical information to prepare your businesses for borders reopening, including directing staff to be vaccinated - the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) has produced this guide and can be contacted for free one-on-one advice and information - phone 1300 559 112.
  • 29 October 2021: Covid & borders reopening - are you ready?! The Tasmanian Premier has confirmed that Tasmania will be open to all visitors from 15 December without a need to quarantine. All businesses need to be prepared, including having a Covid safe plan which includes outbreak management. Safe Farming Tasmania is available to help - contact Stuart Beames on Stu on 0400 140 146 or stuart.beams@justice.tas.gov.au if you need.
    • If you haven’t already, register your property / business for a QR Code for contact tracing purposes, it can be found here and is very easy to do.
    • If you sell produce via a cellar door or have accommodation, you must have a QR Code for your business - all visitors (workers, contractors or the public) are required to check in when entering your property / business.
    • Make sure you consult with your workers with regard to COVID management at your farm/business.
    • Keep up to date with the latest Covid information here and through Business Tasmania here.
    • Encourage your staff to get vaccinated.
    • Sanitise regularly, frequently clean high contact areas, don’t come to work if feeling unwell or showing symptoms of Covid, maintain social distancing where you can.
    • Now is the time to protect your family, workers, and business, and be vigilant in order to mitigate the risk of a Covid out-break and spread occurring.
  • 20 October 2021: New support for businesses impacted by the three day lockdown in southern Tasmania now available - further details here.
  • 15 October 2021: Three down lockdown announced by the Tasmanian Premier, commencing 6pm on 15 October - further details here.
  • 14 September 2021: An expanded Business Support Grant has been announced by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments, providing significant support for businesses able to demonstrate having suffered severe hardship as a result of the lockdowns and border closures. Further details here.
  • 20 August 2021: The Tasmanian Government has preemptively released a plan on restrictions that would apply if the state had to enter lockdown. It is worth familiarising yourself with these details, noting that viticulture and winemaking have been recognised as essential activities, and that licensed premises (including cellar door) would only be open for takeaway. It is also worth reviewing your Covid safe work plan and making sure you are prepared for the potential of another lockdown in the future. View details here.
  • 13 August 2021: The Tasmanian & Australian Governments have announced new a Business Support Package for businesses directly impacted by border closures, including tourism, hospitality, arts and events, with $2,000-$10,000 available for businesses that can demonstrate more than 30% decline in turnover. This program opens on 17 August, and further details will be available here. Grants will be assessed / awarded in order of receipt, so make sure you apply if you have experienced significant financial hardship as a direct result of border closures.
  • 23 July 2021: with lockdowns occurring interstate, there are several travel restrictions in place for Tasmania. New Zealand has also suspended flights to Australia for at least six weeks. For all the latest Covid travel restrictions, visit https://www.coronavirus.tas.go...
  • 8 July 2021: new vaccination centres established with a focus on hospitality and tourism representatives under 60 - further details via the TICT here.
  • Tasmanian business support & grants - information available at https://www.business.tas.gov.au
  • Reminder: From 1 May 2021 it will be mandatory to use the free Check in TAS app for all guest registration and contact tracing. If you are using another system, you will need to change over before this date. View further details here and contact Business Tasmania if you need any help on 1800 440 026.
  • January 2021: updated guidelines and references to help with vintage 2021 plus AWRI vineyard guidelines released in February 2021. Safe Farming Tasmania can also help with one-on-one advice and support on viticultural, winemaking, cellar door and events procedures. Free, state-wide professional advice available by contacting Phill John (0407 015 400, phillip.john@dpipwe.tas.gov.au) or Stuart Beames (0400 140 146, stuart.beams@justice.tas.gov.au).
  • Cellar door protocols - please familiarise yourself with the national cellar door guidelines, developed through Australian Grape & Wine in consultation with state wine organisations - these are national best practice guidelines, to be read in conjunction with regulations in each individual state.
  • Do you know what you need to do if there's a Covid-19 outbreak in your workplace? Plan and be prepared - there is help available if you need it or have any questions. https://www.health.tas.gov.au/...
  • COVID Safe Workplaces - each business needs to have a COVID Safe Workplace Plan - view checklist and small business template here. Wine businesses will be impacted by guidelines relevant to agriculture, food processing, hospitality and retail - full details for available here.

Key links and information:

  • Events (webinars) that may be of interest - we'll post details on our events listing
  • Australian Government information - official information on COVID-19 and resources
  • Tasmanian Government information - COVID-19 information and resources
  • Business Tasmania - dedicated resource for Tasmanian businesses
  • Tourism Tasmania - information for businesses with cellar doors or visitor offerings (if you don't already receive the Tourism Tasmania newsletter and updates, you can subscribe here)
  • TCCI - as part of the Tasmanian Government support, the TCCI has been funded to offer free workplace relations support for businesses impacted by COVID-19 - phone 1300 559 112
  • TICT - through Tasmanian Government support, the TICT has been funded to offer a free consultation service for tourism operators with an experienced financial advisor. Please contact info@tict.com.au for more information. The TICT has also released several podcast series discussing the impact of COVID-19 and support available for tourism businesses - access here
  • Australian Grape & Wine - information and resources from the national wine body
  • Tasmanian Liquor & Gaming - information and support for liquor licence holders
  • Worksafe Tasmania - resources and links, including advice on a Pandemic Plan
  • A Tasmanian Lifeline service - COVID-19 has made life tough for Tasmanians. The future suddenly feels uncertain. If you are struggling, feeling alone, or need help, you can call A Tasmanian Lifeline. The team at A Tasmanian Lifeline are ready to take your call between 8am and 8pm on 1800 98 44 34. Or you can book a confidential call online at www.atasmanianlifeline.com.au. Please share this information with your staff and colleagues and flyers have been provided for you to forward to staff, print and display in staff rooms. If you'd like hard copies or wallet cards to give to staff, please drop us a note at mail@winetasmania.net.au and we'll obtain from Lifeline.

Please get in touch with Wine Tasmania at any time with questions, comments and suggestions - 0407 004 959 (Sheralee) or 0414 980 798 (Paul).