These are the services & businesses deemed ‘essential’ which can operate from today

Many people have been left wondering, what exactly is essential retail, so here’s the list.

Following South Australia’s move from Level 4, to a Level 5 lockdown overnight, all non-essential retail must close, until the situation is reassessed on Friday.

Many people have been left wondering, what exactly is essential retail, so here’s the list.

This is a guide only. Go to SA.GOV.AU to view specific requirements relating to your personal circumstances.
These restrictions are subject to modification by an associated Direction. Information updated 20 July 2021

Public Activities Chart Level 5 Requirements

  • A grocery store, supermarket, butcher, bakery, fruit and vegetable store or fishmonger , including delivery services associated with such stores;
  • An indoor or outdoor market, but only for the purpose of the sale of groceries or fresh food and not for the purposes of the sale or supply of food or beverages prepared on site (whether for consumption on site or take away);
  • A restaurant, café, bar, hotel, club or winery but only for the purposes of the provision of takeaway food or beverages or a meal delivery service;
  • A bottle shop;
  • A financial institution;
  • A post office;
  • A newsagent;
  • A pharmacy;
  • A hardware store;
  • A petrol station;
  • A distribution centre;
  • Places supporting the operation of online or phone ordering and collection or delivery of retail orders;
  • A pet store;
  • A veterinary clinic and related services (such as on farm visits and animal care services), where a genuine animal welfare issue exists or for the purpose of artificial insemination of an animal;
  • An abattoir, meat, seafood or poultry processing plant;
  • Firefighting services;
  • Faramedical services;
  • Ambulance services;
  • Medical retrieval services (including Royal Flying Doctor Services);
  • Services provided by South Australia Police, protective security and Sherriff’s officers;
  • State Emergency Services;
  • Military and defence services deployed for activities in South Australia;
  • State and national security services;
  • Essential infrastructure and essential services (within the meaning of the Essential Services Act 1981) and other services required to maintain and protect human health, safety and wellbeing including; electricity, gas, water, sewerage, drainage and liquid fuels and refinery operations; and waste and recycling services (including collection, treatment and disposal services and transfer stations), but only those services that are provided to commercial contractors; and construction, maintenance and repair of essential infrastructure.
  • Critical repairs to any premises where required for emergency or safety;
  • Maintenance and security of food and beverage facilities and supplies at any business premises or sporting facility;
  • Greenkeeper services that are essential to maintain a playing surface at any sporting facility;
  • Services necessary for the security of any premises;
  • Mining services including coal mining, oil and gas extraction, metal ore mining, non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying petroleum production and including any furnace operations;
  • Locksmith services;
  • Vehicle repair and mechanical services;
  • Roadside assistance services;
  • National Heavy Vehicle Regulator compliance activities;
  • The provision of carparks for the purpose of persons undertaking duties as authorised workers and supporting operations referred to in this definition;
  • Parliament and Parliamentary services (including members of Parliament and persons necessary for the continued operation of Parliament of South Australia or the Commonwealth);
  • Government or local government services (whether provided by government, local government or outsourced) determined to be essential by the relevant Chief Executive;
  • A person who is critical to, and involved in, the State’s COVID-19 response (including hotel quarantine, testing and vaccination services);
  • Court or tribunal services or services provided by similar bodies (such as a commission);
  • Services related to the administration of justice, including functions carried out by the sheriff (and sheriff’s officers) and prison transfers;
  • Essential legal services that are not able to be provided remotely or electronically, including urgent legal matters such as executing a will in person;
  • Consular and diplomatic services;
  • Australian Border Force and Commonwealth law enforcement and intelligence agency services;
  • Journalist and media services;
  • Specialist services at telecommunications stores to support telecommunications as a critical service during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Funeral directors and forensic conveyancing services;
  • Faith leaders broadcasting services or ceremonies at places of worship;
  • A factory or facility that is not able to be shut down without causing damage or loss to plant and equipment, but only those operations that are necessary n order to prevent that damage or loss;
  • Urgent services necessary for the health and safety of any person, animal or premises;
  • Public transport, including taxis, rideshare and other public passenger services;
  • Air transport (including the operation of airports);
  • Freight services (including postal and courier services);
  • Essential health services, but only if those services are provided in accordance with this Schedule;
  • A blood bank or other bank services for the collection, storage and provision of donated biological material;
  • COVID-19 vaccination services;
  • Other immunisation and vaccination services, including providers of pharmacy immunisations and Aboriginal healthcare services;
  • Care services for people with particular needs because of homelessness, age, infirmity, disability, illness, a chronic health condition or other essential support services (such as family violence and sexual assault services) (in accordance with the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 36) (COVID-19) Direction 2021 (if applicable), or a direction that substitutes for that direction);
  • Childcare, early childhood education and primary and secondary schooling services, but only if those services are provided in accordance with this Schedule including early learning centres, kindergartens, preschools and family day care providers;
  • Maternal and child health workers providing essential care to newborns or at-risk babies and children;
  • Essential child protection services;
  • Hotel, motel or other accommodation facility to provide accommodation for work purposes, or essential services to those seeking shelter (such as homeless persons or persons escaping domestic violence);
  • Truckstops and roadhouses for the provision of food for seated consumption at, or take away from, a truckstop or roadhouse by a truck driver;
  • Production and distribution of—food and groceries for sale by a supermarket, butcher, fruit and
  • vegetable store or fishmonger (but not an indoor or outdoor market), other than production at a red meat abattoir; or liquor for sale at premises commonly known as a bottle shop; or medical and pharmaceutical products; or disability and health equipment, mobility devices (including products for health patients); or commercial operations that supply goods or services necessary to support any business activity that may be carried out in accordance with this direction or an associated direction to support the export of goods and services from South Australia for the implementation of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19;
  • Primary industries only to the extent necessary to ensure adequate supply of food to, and care of, crops and animals;
  • Essential health services are—emergency surgery, procedures and medical consulting undertaken for the investigation, diagnosis and management of conditions where failure to do so expediently and safely will lead to the following outcomes: loss of life; or loss of limb; or permanent disability;
  • Non-emergency but urgent surgery, procedures and medical consulting undertaken for the investigation, diagnosis and management of conditions where failure to do so in a clinically appropriate timeframe will lead to a predictable and evidence based outcome as follows: loss of life where appropriate health intervention would otherwise have prevented this; or permanent disability where appropriate health intervention would otherwise have prevented this; or where clinical evidence supports an increased risk of a type referred to in paragraph should appropriate health intervention be significantly delayed;
  • Any health services provided in a hospital;
  • Any health services provided by a general practitioner;
  • Any health services provided at a hospital radiology service (other than routine screening services);
  • Procedures and surgical treatments undertaken by dentists in authorised public health care centres (consistent with Level 5 COVID-19 Dental Service Restrictions published by the Australian Dental Association) in the management of— patients with obvious facial swelling due to infection ie. vestibular swelling (no trismus), facial swelling (with trismus); or facial trauma; or severe unrelenting pain;
  • Procedures to complete— any cycle of IVF treatment that a patient has commenced before the commencement of this direction; or any procedure required for the preservation of eggs for future IVF where required health treatment will render eggs non-viable;
  • Surgical termination of pregnancy.
  • Drug and alcohol services

Please note that the information above only highlights the key changes made to the structure of the Direction and does not reflect all requirements. Members of the public are encouraged to read the full Direction and the following Emergency Management (Activities – Associated Direction) for further information on current restrictions.

For all existing Directions, frequently asked questions and other information can be found here:

If you require further information you can call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787 between the hours of 9am to 5pm 7 days per week or go to the SA Health website at or

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