COVID-19

Change in guidelines announced for interstate and international travellers arriving into SA

It was today announced there is a removal of rapid antigen testing for interstate travellers and a reduction in quarantine requirements for international travellers.

Premier Steven Marshall and Treasurer Rob Lucas have addressed South Australians today in a press conference announcing the removal of entry check requirements and rapid antigen test testing for interstate travellers. There is also a reduction in quarantine requirements for international travellers.

Marshall opened by announcing two people have passed away in the 24 hours to midnight last night. These people were in aged care facilities. While there is no determination of cause of death, both were COVID positive.

There has been a significant increase in cases yesterday with 2,093 positive cases reported in SA.

Marshall stated that there are still four patients in ICU currently, but they are in a stable condition with one patient remaining on a ventilator.

Marshall then stated that there is a change in opening times for drive through facilities for today due to the heat. The drive through facilities are not operating 10:30am-5:30pm as they would normally, but will be open from 5:30pm until midnight tonight.

An additional testing facility has been opened at Hindmarsh Education Setting on Manton Street Hindmarsh. This facility is indoor, air-conditioned and open until 5:30pm. To visit this facility, people must make bookings.

Marshall also announced that effective immediately, it is no longer a requirement for people coming into SA to use the entry check. It is no longer a requirement for people to do a rapid antigen test when coming into SA from interstate.

Marshall stated that this was no longer a good use of resources. The entry check requirement is removed are as well as a rapid antigen test requirement.

Following this, Marshall also announced that the quarantine requirement will be removed for fully vaccinated international arrivals. It will no longer be a requirement for international arrivals to isolate as of midnight tonight.

For unvaccinated people it will still be a requirement to quarantine for 14 days in medihotel. Marshall said that they are taking down the facility at the airport currently there for general public and arrivals in SA by air, and it will be dedicated to international arrivals for a PCR check on arrival.

The announcements today follow yesterday’s National Cabinet Meeting where a number of outcomes were made in regard to directions for positive cases, close contacts and quarantine requirements. These are as follows:

·  There is now a standard definition of what a close contact is. Several months ago, Marshall said the country was keen to get everyone who was a close contact into quarantine, as they were working towards an elimination strategy. Now Australia has a different strategy, which is to suppress instead. And so, what the National Cabinet agreed upon, is that Australia will significantly limit the definition of close contacts to household members and intimate contacts of positive cases. In more vulnerable communities, or in the case of a significant transmission event – the State might flex up the definition of close contacts. For example, if there are a large number of cases in a workplace or somewhere like an aged care facility, those deemed close contacts may be expanded. This new definition of a close contact will be in place from midnight tonight.

·  Marshall said they also discussed the time that close contacts and positive contacts should be in isolation. In the next 24 hours, Australia be moving to 10 days for those who are covid-positive, and 7 days if they’re a close contact. If you’re unvaccinated it will remain at 14 days. If you tested positive, haven’t got any symptoms, and you’ve done the 10 days, you can go back into the public.

·  Rapid Antigen Testing – no state will be giving these tests away free of charge – except in particularly vulnerable communities. All states agreed that they are moving towards more people towards using these tests and out of PCR testing lines. About 2/3 of all people lining up at asymptomatic, and shouldn’t be in the line unless they’re a close contact of someone with covid. New directions will be coming into place in regard to this. There will be significant tightening of guidelines around this. We need to reserve capacity for people with symptoms or who are close contacts. To have 66% of people tested being asymptomatic is unacceptable.

 In yesterday’s national cabinet meeting SA, NSW, Victoria, the ACT and Queensland agreed to redefine a “close contact” as someone who has spent four hours or more with a confirmed case in a household-like setting.

Marshall stated that while there was a uniform national approach in regard to the definition close contact, there are exemptions to this on a state by state level.

“A close contact is a person unprotected for extended period of time,” he said.

“It’s not as simple as contact for 15 minutes. We are issuing guidelines, but in terms of a directed close contacts its massively reduced down, you can still catch disease if you’re not living with them.”

CURRENT EXPOSURE LOCATIONS

Please note: During the December 26th press conference with Professor Nicola Spurrier, she said that SA Health have stopped listing all impacted sites, and are now focused on super spreader, high risk or vulnerable locations.

If you were at any of the below locations, but not at the specified date and time, monitor yourself for symptoms and get tested as soon as symptoms develop.

You may not always receive a call, SMS or email from SA Health. You must follow the relevant health advice even if you have not been contacted.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, please seek testing as soon as possible.

Find your nearest testing site at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDtesting.

More information is available at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing.

For more information visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/ or call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

RELATED NEWS

CURRENT EXPOSURE LOCATIONS

Please note: During the December 26th press conference with Professor Nicola Spurrier, she said that SA Health have stopped listing all impacted sites, and are now focused on super spreader, high risk or vulnerable locations.

If you were at any of the below locations, but not at the specified date and time, monitor yourself for symptoms and get tested as soon as symptoms develop.

You may not always receive a call, SMS or email from SA Health. You must follow the relevant health advice even if you have not been contacted.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, please seek testing as soon as possible.

Find your nearest testing site at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDtesting.

More information is available at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing.

For more information visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/ or call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

RELATED NEWS

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