Wednesday 16 March 2022
Dear sector colleagues,
I hope everyone enjoyed the sunny long weekend, especially with a number of COVID-19 restrictions being eased and lifted. Though there has been an easing of restrictions, we cannot become complacent and must remain vigilant to ensure we keep our staff, families and communities safe.
New quarantine and testing requirements for people who test positive to COVID-19
SA Health changes include new quarantine and testing requirements for people who test positive to COVID-19. Anyone who now tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for seven days rather than the previous 10. This is on the condition that they have no acute symptoms (e.g., sore throat, runny nose etc.) in the last 24 hours of day seven of isolation. If you still remain symptomatic at seven days, you must remain in isolation for a total of 10 days (unless your symptoms finish prior, and you have had at least 24 hours of being symptom free before leaving isolation).
For those who have recovered from COVID-19, you will not be considered a close contact for eight weeks after you finish your isolation period and do not need to be tested during this period. This includes being tested with a RAT for the purposes of surveillance testing in the workplace.
Density restrictions no longer apply in public and private settings while dancing and singing is now allowed. QR check-ins are also no longer required for recreational transport, auctions and inspections, public transport, taxis, rideshares and education facilities.
Existing rules regarding the 14-day quarantine period for close contacts are to remain in place, although changes are expected in the near future. For now, you can re-familiarise those rules for close contacts at the SA Health website.
Close the Gap Day
In other news, this Thursday 17 March represents a special day of significance - National Close the Gap Day. The National Close the Gap Agreement aims to overcome the entrenched inequality faced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people so that their life outcomes are equal to all Australians.
Closing the Gap acknowledges the ongoing strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in sustaining the world’s oldest living cultures. It is underpinned by the belief that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a genuine say in the design and delivery of policies, programs and services, better life outcomes are achieved. This day also recognises that structural change in the way government agencies work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is needed to close the gap.
All Australian governments are currently working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their communities, organisations and businesses to implement the National Agreement on Closing the Gap at national, state, territory, and local levels.
With a number of diverse and inclusive celebrations on the horizon, I am looking forward to celebrating our community’s rich cultural diversity with Harmony Week starting next Monday, 21 March through to Sunday, 27 March. Harmony Week gives us the opportunity to celebrate multiculturalism and recognise the significance and importance of inclusiveness, respect and belonging, regardless of cultural, religious or linguistic background.
We are a vibrant and multicultural community - from the oldest continuous culture of our first Australians to the cultures of our newest arrivals from around the world. Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and is at the heart of who we are.
The week's celebrations will begin with Harmony Day on Monday which is observed annually by the United Nations as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This significant day along with Harmony Week was formed after a number of people were killed at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960. Following that heartbreaking and tragic event, the General Assembly of the UN implemented a number of activities to combat racism and racial discrimination, and dismantle the apartheid system in South Africa. Since that key period in history, racist laws and practices have been abolished in a number of countries, while an international framework for fighting racism is now in effect.
Whether in your workplace, local community or with friends and family, there are a number of ways you can get involved with Harmony Week. If you wish to plan your own event, you can visit the resources page of the Department of Home Affairs website or check out local Harmony Week events in your area.
Take care and enjoy the rest of your week – and the continuing sunshine.
Ngaityalya (Kaurna, thank you)