South Australia begins the nation’s first home quarantine trial

The trial, which will begin this week, will see returning South Australian residents coming back from interstate, and could decrease pressure on quarantine hotels.

The first trial of home quarantine in the country will begin this week in South Australia, that if successful, will increase the state’s capacity to safely and securely quarantine people at home. 

The trial will involve 50 South Australian residents, returning from interstate, undertaking their mandatory 14 days of quarantine in the comfort of their own homes.

Home quarantine will be enabled by a new Home Quarantine SA app – where people can access their testing schedule, complete daily symptom checks, access health and wellbeing resources and confirm their location with regular check-ins.

Using innovative technology, the app provides geolocation and live face-recognition to ensure that people are compliant with their home quarantine direction, and ensures they are at their approved home quarantine address.

Premier Steven Marshall said the home quarantine trial was another key step in the state’s COVID recovery.

“We know the critical role quarantine plays in reducing the risk of COVID outbreaks stemming from travellers returning to our state, and we are steadfast in ensuring this layer of protection is upheld.

“South Australians should be proud of the way we have responded to the many and varied difficulties this awful virus has presented, and we hope this trial leads to improved outcomes for those of us that may need to quarantine in the future.”

Once determined eligible, participants will be provided a personalised admission code that grants them access to the app, enabling them to initiate the process of home quarantine.

It is envisaged the new app will join COVID SAfe Check In as a secure and effective tool in helping to keep South Australians safe.

“South Australians have been well served by our COVID SAfe Check In in the MySA GOV app, which has been critical in our efforts to contact trace, stamp out breakouts and reduce the duration of lockdowns,” Premier Marshall said.

“Like COVID SAfe Check In, the new Home Quarantine SA app has stringent security features that ensures participant information is kept secure throughout the duration of quarantine.

“This innovative technology is the most-advanced of its kind in Australia, and if the trial proves successful, could provide more options for home quarantine for returned South Australians.”

Premier Marshall said the safety and wellbeing of the community remained the number one priority, with a thorough evaluation of the trial to inform future expansion of home quarantine.

“We take no decision lightly when it comes to community safety; it must be reiterated this is a trial, and the outcomes and lessons learnt from it will be foremost amongst any decision to continue or expand it,” Premier Marshall said.

“I am delighted that South Australia has been able to develop a nation-leading technological solution that demonstrates local innovation at its best and aims to complement the hard work being done by so many to keep our state safe and strong.”

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Emily Kirkpatrick said the home quarantine trial has been developed in close consultation with SA Health.

“We have carefully considered the home quarantine trial and provided population and public health advice at every step of its development to ensure the trial is safe and clinically appropriate for participants,” Dr Kirkpatrick said

“Being able to quarantine at home is vital for some of our returning residents and I have confidence that this trial will help us to provide this quarantine option for more people, while also ensuring we are doing everything we can to protect South Australians from COVID-19.”

The home quarantine trial will commence this week, initially with a small number of participants. 

All participants in the home quarantine trial are South Australians residents, who have opted into the trial.

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