SA wants 14 virus free days before re-opening


As NSW scrambles to get its COVID-19 outbreak under control, South Australia plans to keep its border shut to the state until there are 14 days of no new locally acquired cases.

Premier Steven Marshall stated the requirement on Monday, saying it was the same “standard” procedure used in the past.

“People in NSW that are wanting to come to SA have got a bit more of an anxious wait,” he said.

“We don’t want to lift that border immediately … We know some other states are looking for 28-days but we’ve set ourselves a benchmark of 14 days.

“We’re hopeful they get that under control very quickly.”

NSW remains the only jurisdiction closed to SA, but Mr Marshall reiterated the state was monitoring the situation in Victoria.

He said authorities did not envisage any changes to the neighbouring state’s border at this point.

“The new cases in Victoria today are linked to previous infections so it’s not nearly as worrying as a new infection bubbling up,” Mr Marshall said.

“I have every confidence in the Victorian Health team to put that net over the cluster and to bring it under control as quickly as possible.”

Under current border arrangements, anyone entering SA needs to complete an online cross-border travel declaration form prior to arrival.

Mr Marshall fronted the media on Monday to discuss the second round of the Great State Voucher program as online applications open at 11am on Tuesday.

The scheme — which aims to increase tourism over the summer holidays — allows interstate travellers as well as South Australians to get their hands on $100 vouchers to use at participating CBD and North Adelaide stays and $50 vouchers are on offer for regional and suburban accommodation.

“Intrastate travel has been going gangbusters here in SA,” Mr Marshall said.

“We’re trying to make sure we capture as much of that spend as the interstate borders open up, keeping people here in SA but also attracting people from other states into SA.”

South Australian Tourism Commission CEO Rodney Harrex said interstate travellers spent on average three time more than South Australians which helped the local economy.

“We’ve seen a really strong opportunity with Victoria,” he said.

“Pre-COVID Victoria was in excess of 40 per cent of our domestic expenditure so interstaters are crucial for our hotels, tour operators, etc so that’s why we see this opportunity as a significant one for SA.”

SA recorded four new COVID-19 cases on Monday, all travellers in hotel quarantine.

A total of 583 cases have been recorded across the state. Of those, only 13 are considered active.



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