SA issues urgent call over NSW virus case

Tim Dornin
·3-min read

South Australia has issued an urgent call for some recent travellers to a NSW regional centre to isolate and get tested after it was linked to a new COVID-19 infection.

The state's transition committee met on Tuesday and continued the current border arrangements, barring most travel from NSW but keeping the border with Victoria open.

However, a 100-kilometre "bubble" is in place to allow those in border communities to travel across the state line.

That includes Broken Hill, which is now linked to a new coronavirus case in NSW.

An 18-year-old Sydney man has since tested positive for the virus after a visiting Orange, Nyngan and Broken Hill on a camping trip.

As a result, SA Health says anyone who visited the Gourmet Cribtin breakfast and brunch restaurant in the town on January 2 should self isolate and get tested.

The owners said the restaurant would be closed until further notice for a full deep clean and all staff were also getting tested and self-isolating.

"We are doing all the right steps to get our little business back to normal as soon as we can," they said.

While SA's border with Victoria remains open, Acting Police Commissioner Linda Williams urged Victorians heading to SA to take a "commonsense approach" and get tested.

"You're welcome to come, but obviously in terms of when you arrive, we'd ask you to isolate and have a test," she said.

"It's not compulsory at the present time, but obviously it's in your interest and everyone else's interest."

South Australia reported no new virus infections on Tuesday, with two previously reported cases removed from the state's total.

SA Health said two positive tests in returned recently travellers had since been found to be old infections, leaving SA with 10 active cases, all in hotel quarantine.

The state's hard border closure with NSW exempts only returning residents, those relocating permanently or essential travellers.

Returning residents or people relocating will still need to quarantine for 14 days and can only make that trip once.

Premier Steven Marshall said he remained confident Victorian officials would be able to bring the outbreak there under control.

But he said SA would look for 14 days with no community transmission before lifting coronavirus restrictions with NSW.

NSW reported four locally-acquired infections on Tuesday, as well as the case of the 18-year-old.

Victoria reported three new locally-acquired cases, all linked to the 27-strong Black Rock cluster.

Also on Tuesday, the latest round of SA travel vouchers became available, offering $100 towards accommodation in the centre of Adelaide and $50 for accommodation in the city's suburbs or in regional centres.

Successful applicants have until the end of March to travel.

More than 70,000 were snapped up in just 40 minutes with Premier Marshall urging all those who secured a voucher to make sure they use them.

"By cashing your voucher in, you're helping support local jobs in our tourism sector," he said.