19 Nov 2020

Further details of restrictions for our sector – accommodation & guest service, essential workers and regional travel

Good news today with South Australia recording no new COVID-19 cases overnight.

While there are still significant impacts across the tourism sector – and for all South Australians – during the six-day lockdown, it is pleasing that from more than 20,000 tests conducted over the past two days, there remains only 23 actives cases from this cluster.

We have also been learning more of the details about the restrictions, and how they impact tourism operators, those working in hospitality and accommodation providers.

Those who are employed in hotel and motel accommodation can continue to attend work, although it is preferred that minimal staff are engaged over this period. 

Under the SAPOL direction, a person may leave the home for the purpose of undertaking duties as an essential worker which are classified as those people who perform work which is essential for the continued operation of their workplace.

For a full list, I would urge you to read through the latest SAPOL direction here.

It is important to note, that no essential worker permits will be issued. Essential workers are advised that they can simply attend their essential workplace when they need to, and on the discretion of their employer. The State Government is asking businesses to respect the overarching aim of the lockdown – to minimise community activity and reduce the chances of transmission – and stay at home if possible. If staff need to work, to avoid compliance issues, they are recommended to carry photo ID and an indication/evidence of their essential employment and location of their workplace. 

There is a list of FAQs on the SA Government's dedicated COVID response page, which also answers a lot of commonly asked questions that we have been receiving.

We have also been able to clarify that house guests staying in accommodation are able to be provided with room service. No common areas (such as gyms, pools or restaurants) can be used while we are in the period of lockdown.

As you will most likely know, all regional travel and short-stay accommodation is cancelled (unless you or your guests were in the property as of midnight last night. If that was the case, they must stay until the end of lockdown.)

The SATC will continue to work with the Government and industry to drill down into how the restrictions flow-on to our sector, and will pass these on as soon as we have information to share.

In border news, the Victorian Government today announced temporary border controls with SA. From 11.59pm tonight, a “hard border” will take effect for 48 hours and following that, a permit system will be introduced. Under the hard border, only freight drivers and those with medical or emergency reasons, urgent animal welfare or as authorised by law, will be able to pass through the border from SA to Victoria. You can read more about the Victorian border restrictions here.

I again urge you to stay positive, please follow the directions we have been given and help stem the spread of this virus. If we work together, we can get through the next week and hopefully have restrictions eased, and we can get back to business.

Rodney Harrex
Chief Executive

See the full Industry Update – 19 November 2020 here.