Australia

South Australia introduces new COVID-19 rules and tightens border restrictions with Victoria

South Australia will enforce tough border restrictions for Victoria and strengthen local COVID-19 rules as interstate case numbers continue to rise.

From midnight on Thursday, South Australians returning home from Greater Melbourne, Geelong and Bacchus Marsh must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Returning residents from other parts of Victoria will not have to quarantine but must undergo tests on days one, five and 13.

Melbourne is expected to enter a snap lockdown from midnight in an effort to contain the growing outbreak of the Delta variant in Victoria.

“We don’t want lockdowns in South Australia,” Premier Steven Marshall told reporters.

“We are very concerned of the transmission which occurred at the MCG and so we need to take action to protect South Australia.”

A 70 kilometre border bubble will remain in place.

Border restrictions on southeast Queensland, including Brisbane, had been due to ease at midnight but will remain in place indefinitely.

NSW and the ACT also remain subject to tough border rules.

From midnight on Thursday, SA will return to stronger local restrictions including limiting private gatherings to 150 people.

Face masks must be worn indoors if venues are above 50 per cent density and at all times in high-risk settings including nursing homes.

Restrictions on dancing and singing will also return.

“We do all of these things to make sure that we don’t have a lockdown in South Australia,” Mr Marshall said.

“Too many people in South Australia believe that we’ve mastered the coronavirus … we cannot be complacent.”

SA has so far dodged a local outbreak of the virus after three exposure sites were identified, linked to infected removalists who came into the state from Sydney.

There are 238 people who have been ordered to isolate and get tested after being linked to the exposure sites at Tailem Bend, east of Adelaide.

All freight drivers crossing into SA must also show proof of a negative coronavirus test undertaken less than 48 hours earlier or alternatively get tested within 24 hours.

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