More COVID-19 cases in SA arrivals

Tim Dornin
·2-min read

More coronavirus cases are being detected in overseas travellers returning to South Australia as the state pushes ahead with plans to lift its border restrictions with Victoria.

SA Health reported three new cases on Saturday, all people who recently arrived from overseas.

The two women in their 20s and a woman in her 50s are all in hotel quarantine and pose no risk to the wider community.

Their cases take the state's total since the start of the pandemic to 522 but only 17 are still considered active infections.

All of those are in hotel isolation.

Meanwhile, the state's tourism industry chiefs say moves to lift border restrictions with Victoria will come as a great relief to the sector.

The state government has set December 1 as the day when Victorians can once again travel to SA without the need to quarantine, either in a hotel or at home.

Tourism Industry Council chief executive Shaun de Bruyn says the decision is great news with the festive season just around the corner.

"Victoria is the largest provider of visitors to our state and many tourism businesses have suffered with the absence of this key interstate market," he said.

"The announcement will provide great relief for many of those tourism businesses that are still suffering great hardship, especially with Christmas and the school holidays fast approaching.

"The next big step forward in the recovery of our tourism industry will be the re-opening of international borders, which businesses are really eager to see happen as soon as it's safely possible."

About 1.2 million Victorians visit South Australia each year and generate around $895 million for our state's economy.

But a hard border closure with that state has been in place since the start of the second wave of coronavirus infections there.

Premier Steven Marshall said the lifting of restrictions would bring Victoria in line with SA's rules for all other states but was dependent on no major new outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the next two weeks.

"This (hard border closure) has been in place for an extended period of time and it's been important to keep our state safe," Mr Marshall said.

"It has been our first line of defence."

The change was confirmed at a meeting of the state's transition committee on Friday, which will meet again next week to review, and likely ease, a range of local coronavirus measures.