COVID-19

Premier reveals more details for next week’s COVID road map to borders opening

Premier Steven Marshall addressed the South Australian public this morning to reveal that SA is on track to re-opening its borders to NSW, VIC and the ACT as of next week.

Premier Steven Marshall and Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier addressed the South Australian public this morning to reveal that SA is on track to re-opening its borders to NSW, VIC and the ACT as of next week.

From Tuesday, 23rd November, the threat of a full state lockdown will no longer remain, with the Premier confident in our SA COVID roadmap.

Fully vaccinated South Australians will only have to quarantine for seven days if they’re deemed a close contact of a COVID-19 case, under new rules when borders reopen on the 23rd of November.

Fully vaccinated casual contacts will have to isolate until their first negative test.

If an unvaccinated person is to contract COVID-19, they’ll be required to quarantine for fourteen days, with fully vaccinated, close-contacts only required to isolate for seven days.

The updated guidelines also include a new category of low-risk casual contact for when someone has been in the same environment as a COVID-positive person, but has not had more than 15 minutes face-to-face contact with them.

Businesses will also no longer be required to close for deep cleaning if there is an exposure at their site.

“We know this is going to be a huge relief for families, for businesses, those state borders have been extraordinary punishing – I expect that we will be at that 80 per cent next week.”

South Australia’s double vaccination rate currently sits at just under 74 per cent. 

The cap on home gatherings is also set to ease, with 30 people able to gather inside one home instead of 20 people.

“South Australians rolling up to get vaccinated have put our state into an excellent position to be prepared for COVID-19 cases in our state,” said Premier Marshall.

“The State Liberal Government’s strong COVID-19 response has protected local jobs and kept South Australians safe and while we know we will see COVID-19 cases in the community, fully vaccinated people will no longer face long periods in quarantine if they come into close contact with a positive case.

“Achieving high vaccination rates is a key part of our strong plan to be COVID-ready and South Australia’s pandemic control going forward. Not only will it reduce time in quarantine, it is the best way for people to protect themselves, their loved ones and the community from this nasty disease.

“The message couldn’t be stronger – there has never been an easier time for South Australians to roll up their sleeve and get vaccinated, with thousands of walk-ins and appointments available at one of the many vaccination clinics, GPs or pharmacies across the state.”

“As we safely transition into the next phase of our COVID-ready plan, we have also made 392 extra beds and treatment spaces available and are recruiting up to 1920 doctors, nurses, ambulance officers and health staff so you will always be able to get the care you need, when you need it.”

Updated testing and quarantine requirements also redefine who is classified as a close and casual contact, with fully vaccinated casual contacts only isolating until they receive their first negative test result.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the vaccine reduces the risk of both spreading and catching the disease, allowing for lighter requirements on vaccinated people who are determined to be a close or casual contact.

“We know the vaccine reduces the spread of COVID-19, so fully vaccinated individuals are at less risk of catching the disease when passing through shopping centres, or when physically distanced while ordering a coffee,” said Minister Wade.

He says the state has set aside $120 million for additional beds in our hospitals, with a reported recent improvement in ramping.

Once SA hits 90 per cent of those aged 12 and over who are double vaccinated, quarantine restrictions for international returning residents will dissolve, along with the “vast majority” of current restrictions.

Marshall believes that the crucial 90 per cent threshold will be reached before Christmas.

“We can really start to enjoy some real freedom and mobility that we’ve been lacking for some a long period of time,” says Marshall.

Marshall has said that SA will not seek to mandate the vaccination, but believes SA Health and the government has made it as easy as possible for all South Australians to receive both doses.

“During the height of the Modbury cluster, around 29,000 South Australians were forced into 14 days quarantine, but thanks to the many South Australians rolling up to get vaccinated we will no longer need to quarantine such large groups of people in similar circumstances.

“There have never been more reasons to roll-up and get vaccinated. Every dose gets us closer to fully vaccinating our community aged 12 and over, which means we can further ease restrictions and have less reliance on other public health control measures going forward.”

Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, said testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine will continue to play a very significant role when our borders open and we have COVID in our state.

“Our contact tracing team are ‘match-ready’ to carry out their vital work with contact tracing and outbreak control as we know this is a key preventative measure to limit infections, illness and the impact on our health care system,” said Professor Spurrier.

“The team will continue to get in touch with all individuals who have come into contact with a case to inform them if they are a close or casual contact and what is expected of them.

“While it’s fantastic we are able to reduce quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated people, we will still require quarantine of close contacts and isolation of cases to stop the chains of transmission.

“QR check-ins will be more important than ever, as will wearing masks and keeping up individual COVID-safe behaviours.

“This includes physical distancing, washing your hands, staying at home if you are sick and getting tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible if you have any symptoms.”

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

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