A new government policy allows people over the age of 16 who live alone to visit a partner, friend, support person, or relative.
This new South Australian directive, called a “singles bubble,” specifies the person living alone can only visit one person (not including children of which they are sole parents), and it also states that if the individual is visiting their partner, their relationship had to have started before lockdown.
Marshall said in a Thursday press conference that this bubble is in place to accommodate circumstances where people are in a relationship but not living under the same roof, and that it comes from a “wellbeing and mental health perspective.”
“We are aiming for a seven day lockdown, but there is a possibility this will be extended, and we wanted to provide for people who want to visit their intimate partners,” Marshall said.
The SA policy comes after a similar policy was implemented in Victoria. A singles bubble information pamphlet from the Department of Health and Human Services says you can make a single social bubble with one other person if you live alone or the carer of children or someone with a disability.
According to the Victorian policy, this bubble is a way to help people “feel less alone” while still staying “safe from coronavirus.” They encourage people to make sure the one person they choose for their bubble is “an important person in [their] life” who makes you “feel safe.”
The singles bubbles are now allowed in South Australia as of Thursday, July 22.
In Thursday’s premier press conference, Steven Marshall announced two new cases and also addressed mental health stemming from loneliness during lockdown, a main cause of allowing the singles bubbles in the state. Marshall spoke about his concern for the mental health and wellbeing of South Australians and advised people to stay in regular contact with friends and relatives, to exercise where you can, and to eat healthy meals to reduce anxiety.
All South Australians who have symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested on the day symptoms appear.
– Fever or chills (in the absence of an alternative illness that explains these symptoms)
– An acute respiratory infection e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath
– Loss of smell or alteration in the sense of taste
– Diarrhea and vomiting
For more information: SA COVID-19 Information Line 1800 253 787; sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVID2019.