Hot topics close

SA borders to stay open despite Premier being 'extraordinarily concerned' about COVID-19 Omicron variant

South Australia's borders will remain open but all travellers from NSW, Victoria and the ACT will be required to have a test on arrival and isolate until a result is received.

South Australia's borders will remain open but all travellers from NSW, Victoria and the ACT will be required to have a test on arrival and isolate until a result is received.

Key points:
  • South Australia's borders will remain open to all states
  • Travellers from NSW, Victoria and the ACT will have to get tested and isolate on arrival
  • Exposure sites have been added in Adelaide and Victor Harbor

They will need to have a further test on day six if they are still in the state.

They will not be able to visit high-risk settings such as aged care homes, disability care facilities and prisons.

"We remain extraordinarily concerned about the Omicron threat," SA Premier Steven Marshall said.

"This has nothing to do with the Delta variant."

There have been about 40 cases in SA since the borders reopened on November 23, including the state's first mystery infection reported yesterday. 

"That is in line with the forecast — the model that was presented — so this has nothing to do with Delta, it has everything to do with the Omicron variant," the Premier said.

LIVE UPDATES: Read our blog for the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic

International arrivals into South Australia have had to quarantine for 14 days since concerns were first raised about the Omicron variant last weekend.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said "five or seven" people who flew in on an international flight into Sydney may have been exposed to Omicron and then continued on to South Australia.

All but one of them had been contacted, she said.

Interstate arrivals will still have to have a COVID-19 test 72 hours before entering South Australia.

Houses and apartments on a windy road next to the beachHouses and apartments on a windy road next to the beach
A person in Adelaide's southern suburbs yesterday became the first case with no known link.(ewsABC)
Disagreement at committee meeting

Professor Spurrier said "some" new COVID-19 cases were detected yesterday but figures would be released this afternoon.

She would not say what advice she gave to the state's directions committee, which decides border restrictions.

However, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said Professor Spurrier came to the meeting with a recommendation to close the state's borders but "there are a range of factors that have to be taken into account" and a consensus decision was made.

"The best course of action at this point in time, in the absence of more detailed information, is to enhance our testing and surveillance, which is what we're doing," he said.

He said "significant spread" of Omicron interstate would be the next trigger on tightening border restrictions.

The committee met today and yesterday, and Mr Marshall said there would be "extraordinarily frequent directions meetings" over the next week or two.

Cars waiting under a marquee with buildings behindCars waiting under a marquee with buildings behind
Arrivals in South Australia will need to be tested.(ABC News)
More exposure sites announced

SA Health last night added three close contact exposure locations — cafes in Hyde Park and Victor Harbor and parts of the plane on a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Adelaide on Monday.

Lower risk exposure sites were also added in Fullarton, Semaphore, Wayville, Adelaide Airport, Hyde Park, Tea Tree Gully and the rest of the same Qantas flight. 

You can find information on testing site hours and the nearest site to you on the SA Health website.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Watch
Duration: 4 minutes 58 seconds4m 58s
Play Video. Duration: 4 minutes 58 secondsPlay Video. Duration: 4 minutes 58 seconds
Heavily mutated Omicron variant puts scientist on alert
Read more about the Omicron variant:

Loading form...

Similar news
This week's most popular news