Australia

SA considers extra COVID-19 test for returned travellers after NSW adopts measure


South Australia will consider adding an extra COVID-19 test for Australians returning from overseas to bolster the security of the hotel quarantine system.

Under current arrangements, anyone forced into quarantine in SA is tested on days one, five and 12.

But NSW has now introduced a test on day 16, which while not mandatory is highly recommended.

It’s designed to pick up cases that might have developed at the tail end of the 14-day period.

Premier Steven Marshall said South Australia would continue to follow the best medical advice when it came to keeping people safe.

“We’re learning more and more about this disease every single day that goes past,” he told reporters on Sunday.

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“We’re getting more information in from other states, we’re getting information in from overseas.

“We’ll look at that very carefully. If we need to do that in South Australia, that’s what we’ll do.”

From Monday, SA authorities will take charge of the new Tom’s Court hotel complex in the centre of Adelaide which will become a dedicated facility to house people with confirmed coronavirus infections.

The facility has had ventilation systems upgraded to make it as safe as possible and has upgraded CCTV coverage.

The 72-bed site includes four apartment-style rooms to accommodate families and two purpose-built disability suites.

Staff will move in from Monday with a view to taking guests from February 15.

The new facility was promised after November’s COVID-19 outbreak in Adelaide which was sparked by a guard in a quarantine hotel picking up the virus.

SA reported no new virus cases on Sunday and currently has just two active cases, both returned travellers in quarantine.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania.

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