Premier Steven Marshall and Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier addressed the South Australian public this afternoon to reveal the anticipated SA COVID roadmap.
Marshall thanked South Australians for the extraordinary hard work they have shown over the last 19 months of the pandemic. He stated that he is grateful for South Australia’s effort, yet noted that the state will need to continue to work hard to reach the 90 per cent fully vaccinated threshold.
From November 23, restrictions will ease for double vaccinated Australians wishing to enter South Australia from other states. The quarantine restrictions for international returning residents will also be reduced, with only a seven-day quarantine required for double vaccinated Australians.
The cap on home gatherings is also set to ease, with 30 people able to gather inside one home instead of 20 people.
Once SA hits 90 per cent of South Australians 12 and over double vaccinated, quarantine restrictions for international returning residents will dissolve, along with the “vast majority” of current restrictions.
While Marshall has announced this preliminary roadmap, he stated that further information will come in the following weeks once the modelling is finalised. Marshall believes that the crucial 90 per cent threshold will be reached before Christmas. Further, there is still no date as to when SA’s state of emergency will conclude, but Marshall believes South Australia is moving into the recovery phase of the COVID roadmap.
“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.
“The race is on in SA, we need as many people vaccinated as possible.”
Marshall further stated 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.
Spurrier said this roadmap is a clear message that South Australians don’t have time to wait to get vaccinated, with so many opportunities for South Australian’s to be vaccinated with either three of the available Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots.
While it is difficult to predict when SA will hit the 80 per cent fully vaccinated milestone, Spurrier said she believes the state will hit the mark either before the November deadline or a week after. When speaking on SA reaching the 90 per cent vaccinated threshold, Spurrier said it is up to South Australians to reach the milestone.
“If it’s good enough for the ACT and NSW it is good enough for us here,” says Spurrier.
Marshall and Spurrier both stated QR check-ins will remain, with COVID tracing still a vital tool in ensuring that an impending outbreak remains under control.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said SA still has work to do, and that they will need to retain these current levels of restrictions as they prepare the community for the introduction of COVID-19. He believes the roadmap and November is the right and sensible decision.
November 23 | 80% of South Australians fully vaccinated (16+)
- Borders will open to fully vaccinated Australians in all states and territories.
- Quarantine restrictions for returning international residents will drop from 14 days to 7 days.
- Cap on home gatherings will ease from 20 per household to 30 per household.
- Private activity cap of 150 people.
- Masks will remain mandatory for inside activity.
90% of South Australians fully vaccinated (12+)
- Borders open to fully vaccinated returning residents and international arrivals.
- Unvaccinated arrivals required to quarentine for 14 days.
- Restrictions on most activites lifted.
- High-risk activity only for the fully vaccinated (nightclubs, standing alcohol consumption).
- Masks remain in high risk settings.
Further modelling is expected to be delivered by the Doherty Institute and the National Cabinet. The states modelling utilises the Doherty Institutes structure, but with South Australian data, encompassing vaccination rates across all age brackets and taking into account the states higher elderly population.
South Australia is catching up in the vaccine race, with 79.3 per cent of the eligible population receiving their first dose. So far, a total of 62.5 per cent of South Australians have rolled up their sleeves to receive both doses. Over 34 million doses of COVID-19 vaccinations had been administrated Australia wide, with 73.4 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated.
The decision comes as several states gear up to re-open this summer. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced plans for caps to dissolve on international arrivals and open Australian borders as the population inches closer crucial 80 per cent vaccinated milestone. This will offer stranded Australians the chance to return home without having to undergo hotel quarantine just in time for Christmas.
South Australians will be able to implement home quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals once 80 per cent of residents over 16 are fully vaccinated. New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet has also announced that the state will ditch quarantine restrictions for returning overseas residents from November 1.
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