25 Mar 2022

Close contact & quarantine rules move in line with nation, pre-flight test for internationals scrapped & more...

In significant welcome news for South Australia’s workforce and business owners, as well as families across the state, a series of changes around COVID-19 close contacts and quarantine requirements will take effect.

There has also been a date flagged for the removal of the mask mandate, and a 28-day extension of the emergency management declaration.

Following the first meeting of the Emergency Management Council, Premier Peter Malinauskas today announced the following changes – designed to bring SA in line with national standards.

Effective immediately:

  • Household close contacts quarantine period reduces from 14 days to 7 days.

From 12.01am on Saturday 26 March:

  • Increasing the period in which somebody who has had COVID is not considered a close contact from 8 weeks to 12 weeks post-isolation
  • Changing the definition of a close contact from 15 minutes to 4 hours
  • The COVID management plan for Adelaide Oval will also change, with masks required only in indoor, fully enclosed areas (not required outdoors or when seated).

The mask mandate – barring a new variant or other significant change in circumstances – will be removed on April 14.

For details, please refer to SA’s COVID-19 information site at covid-19.sa.gov.au.

One of the things I’ve been hearing from operators across the state, is that while travel confidence is growing and venues and hotels have been filling up, the close contact rules have been a challenge for businesses juggling to fill staff rosters. The new definition of a close contact will mean more people at work in our industry and more businesses able to remain open.

The Federal Government has today announced that the pre-departure COVID-19 test requirement for international visitors will be scrapped from April 17.

This will remove a hurdle for international tourists wanting to visit Australia and the date aligns with the expiry of the Federal Government’s biosecurity emergency determination on April 17, which will not be renewed.

Arrivals into Australia must still provide proof of double vaccination and wear masks on domestic and international flights under non-emergency provisions.

It comes as Qantas launches a major advertising campaign using its iconic ‘I still call Australia home’ anthem to showcase Australia to the world.

The campaign includes a sale on international and domestic fares and the impressive new ad features South Australia’s Lake Gairdner in the Eyre Peninsula.

Yesterday, I met with our new Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison MP, to discuss the strategic priorities and key SATC activities going forward. 

It was an excellent opportunity to discuss critical areas of interest, the challenges facing the sector (in particular, workforce shortages) and to outline our plans to recover our $8.1 Billion visitor economy.

Rodney Harrex
Chief Executive


See the Industry Update – 25 March 2022.