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Tuesday 29 June 2021
COVID-19 update - SA restrictions
Dear sector colleagues,
Yesterday the South Australian Government announced a number of new restrictions in response to the outbreaks of COVID-19 across the nation.
Whilst South Australia has thankfully not recorded any cases of community transmission the message is clear – the risk posed by the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is significant, and we must take pre-emptive action to protect our state against a potential outbreak.
The new restrictions that came into effect from midnight last night, and will be in place for one week, include:
- Masks are mandatory in high-risk settings, including aged care, hospitals, and disability service settings.
- Masks are highly recommended when using public transport.
- Density requirements for defined public activities (including in disability and aged care settings) have changed to 1 person per 2 square metres.
- Physical distancing principles must be applied.
- A maximum limit of 150 people (previously uncapped) will apply to private gatherings in homes or in halls. This includes weddings.
- Licenced premises will return to a density arrangement of 1 person per 2 square metres, seated consumption indoors, with no communal consumption.
- Masks will be mandatory in indoor seated entertainment venues.
The Public Activity direction that requires people to wear masks in high-risk settings will affect many across the sector, including providers of disability services, allied health services and aged care services amongst others.
In line with previous directions that mandated the use of masks in these high-risk settings, provisions are in place to exempt people from wearing a mask, including:
- A person receiving care in their own home.
- Residents and live-in staff members, including when physical distancing can’t be maintained.
- Clients (if, in the provider or carer’s opinion that the wearing of a mask will hinder the provision of care).
A copy of the new direction can be found on the covid-19.sa.gov.au website.
Get tested and vaccinated
The other strong message out of yesterday’s COVID-19 press conference was that the government is aiming for South Australia to be the best tested and best vaccinated state in Australia.
It is critical that we not only abide by the new public activity direction and the quarantine and testing requirements for returned travellers, but that we continue to test and self-isolate if we have any symptoms at all.
The advice remains that if you have COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how minor, get tested immediately and self-isolate until you have received a negative result.
Finally, and most importantly - if you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination the government urges you to get vaccinated.
In NSW, a party in West Hoxton - described as a super spreader event - saw 24 out of the 30 attendees test positive for COVID-19. The only people who did not contract COVID-19 were the six people who had been vaccinated.
Vaccination works and is the single most effective measure to protect against infection and serious cases of COVID-19.
Late last night following an emergency National Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister announced that state and territory leaders agreed to a range of new measures including making the vaccine mandatory for aged care and quarantine workers. People working in aged care will need to have their first dose of the vaccine by mid-September.
The Prime Minister also announced that anyone under the age of 40 can now approach their GP and request the AstraZeneca vaccine. People over the age of 60 will still be given priority for the Astra Zeneca vaccine, and Pfizer is still the recommended vaccine for those under 60, however younger Australians are now able to access the AstraZeneca vaccine if they wish via their GP.
For those in aged care and disability residential facilities, COVID-19 vaccinations may be offered via your workplace as part of the rollout by ASPEN Medical to these sectors. Otherwise, you can book your vaccination appointment online via the SA Health website.
We will continue to keep you updated as the situation evolves.
Entry to South Australia is currently prohibited for travellers from New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory and ACT. Entry is permitted for returning residents and others, however on arrival they must quarantine for 14 days and be tested on day 5 and day 13 of quarantine. Testing and quarantine requirements also apply to travellers from Victoria.
For specific information on travel restrictions that apply please visit the SA Health contact tracing website.
Thank you for your continued commitment to protecting South Australia’s most vulnerable communities from COVID-19. If you have any questions or concerns, please email the DHS COVID-19 Response team.
Ngaityalya (Kaurna, thank you)