Department of Human Services

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Monday 30 November 2020

This is an archived Newsletter. The information may be outdated.

For the latest COVID-19 information, please refer to the SA Government COVID-19 website.

Update to public activity restrictions

Dear sector colleagues,

A new Direction under the Emergency Management Act has been released, and will come into place from 1201 hours, Tuesday 1 December 2020. A copy of the Direction is available on the website.

The Direction now identities the provision of Health Care, Residential Care, Disability Support or Aged Care Services as a defined public activity. This is because the recipients of these types of services are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.  Further information on the types of activities covered in this definition is contained in Schedule 2 of the Direction (PDF 4.6MB).

This means that the people or organisations conducting the public activity are required to develop a COVID-Safe Plan, undertake contact tracing and must wear masks under certain circumstances.

In recognition of the significant changes this represents for the cohorts now defined by the Directions as a public activity, SA Police has advised that a period of 72 hours is being provided to allow SA Health the opportunity to communicate with the sector and allow organisations to go online and generate COVID safe plans with associated QR codes.

During this time, I am pleased to advise that enforcement action will not be taken, but all businesses must implement the requirements as soon as possible and within the 72-hour grace period.

Defined services

Under the Direction, your service will be defined as health care, residential care, disability support or aged care if it carries out the following services:

  • health care services, including public allied health services, community health services including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services*
  • residential care services, including the following—
    • residential disability services
    • supported residential facilities
    • residential care facilities established under the Family and Community Services Act 1972 or licensed under the Child and Young People (Safety) Act 2017
  • disability support services, including in-home disability support services
  • in-home aged care services
  • supported independent living services.

*see the new Direction for full definitions of health care services (PDF 4.6MB)

COVID-Safe plans

If your organisation is defined as a public activity under the Direction, a COVID-Safe plan and contact tracing via COVID-Safe Check-In (QR code / app) must be completed, unless the activity relates to in-home health services.

Please note that in-home health services are specifically excluded from this requirement (refer to Clause 10(8) of the Direction (PDF 4.6MB)).

Do I need to have a COVID-Safe plan in place by Tuesday 1 December?

The Direction requires that organisations identified as a public activity must have a COVID-Safe Plan in place by 1 December 2020.

As this will be a new requirement for many facilities, SA Police has advised that a period of 72 hours is being provided to allow organisations to go online and generate COVID safe plans with associated QR codes.

Enforcement action will not be taken at this time, however all businesses must implement the requirements as soon as possible and within the 72-hour grace period (1201 hours, Friday 4 December).

COVID-Safe plan templates are easy to complete online, and a simple guideline to step you through the process is available at, along with contact details for further assistance in completing your plan.

Density requirement

When completing your COVID-Safe Plan, you will need to provide information relating to venue capacity.

Please note that, whilst indoor density requirements are 1 person per 4 square metres, Clause 8(3) of the Direction states that people employed or engaged to work or undertake official duties for the purpose of the define public activity do not need to be counted in regards to the density requirement.

COVID SAfe Check-in

The mySA GOV app will have the COVID SAfe Check-In feature added to it before 1 December, which once opened, will allow you to scan a business’s QR code.

There is, however, a slight delay with the Apple version of the app, which will not be available until COB 1 December. The Android app is already available. If a person visiting your site has an iPhone, they will need to provide all of the contact details to the service who must record them.

The app securely collects limited personal information as you enter a business or venue. Details will only be kept for 28 days and will only be released to SA Health for official contact tracing purposes.

Any new COVID-Safe plans created online will generate a QR code to print off and display.

It will be mandatory for all public activities with a COVID-Safe plan to display their QR code from Tuesday 1 December, however the 72-hour grace period applies for organisations newly defined as a public activity. Please continue to collect visitor information for contact tracing purposes using current methods until your COVID-Safe Plan is in place.

When customers arrive at your venue, they can check in by scanning the QR code using their mobile phone.

COVID-Safe Check In will roll out from Tuesday 1 December 2020 and more information about how to use it is available at


The new Directions require that masks must be worn when conducting the public activity unless:

  • the mask will hinder the provision of care in the professional opinion of the health care provider or carer
  • a person has a medical condition that prevents them wearing a mask such as breathing difficulties
  • the mask affects the ability to communicate with hearing impaired people
  • a person is under 12, or
  • the person is a resident or live-in staff members of a residential care facility.

In line with this new Direction, I am pleased to confirm that the NDIA has advised it will extend the current PPE arrangements to 14 December 2020.

The updated Direction represents a significant change for many providers of disability and residential services. If you have any questions or concerns, I encourage you to contact DHS’s COVID-19 Response team at 

More information on COVID-19 in South Australia

Best regards,

Lois Boswell
Chief Executive

Read the NGO Newsletter online - 30 November 2020

Page last updated : 30 Aug 2022

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