SA to drop Vic border ban in December

Tim Dornin
·2-min read

South Australia will lift all its border restrictions with Victoria on December 1, with no requirement for travellers to quarantine in hotels or at home.

Premier Steven Marshall says the change will bring Victoria in line with SA's rules for all other states, but is 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 on Friday.

"It has been our first line of defence."

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

The premier said he expected a number of restrictions would be eased, including the capacity caps on a range of venues, events and activities.

The changes would be designed to leave the state with a baseline level of restrictions that would likely remain in place for some time.

SA also expects to introduce check-in technology by November 20, including QR codes, which should allow for stand-up food and drink consumption in pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the technology would give SA Health access to data necessary for contact tracing on a 24-hour basis.

He said the data would only be kept for 28 days before being dumped, and police would have no access.

"This is our ammunition to attack any sort of outbreak so we can start contact tracing immediately," he said.

South Australia's decision to ease border rules with Victoria came despite some concern over a single COVID-19 case in Adelaide this week, when an aged care worker who recently returned from Melbourne tested positive.

The woman in her 20s flew into Adelaide on Monday and is in hotel quarantine.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said further testing had been completed and it was looking more likely the woman's case was an old infection.

But she said it was possible the woman had been infected twice, once in August and at a later time.

"We're still going to treat this as an infectious case," Prof Spurrier said.

"But it looks like the infection, if it was indeed a second infection, is also an old infection."

SA Health reported no new virus cases on Friday, leaving the total since the start of the pandemic at 520.

Only 16 of those are considered active infections and all are in hotel quarantine.