COVID-19: latest updates for stakeholders

Friday 21 January 2022

Update on managing the risk of COVID exposures in the energy and mining sector

The COVID-ready plan, Assessing and managing the risk of COVID exposures in the energy and mining sector, applies to the mining, oil, gas, state network energy generation and transmission, exploration and quarrying sectors. It is an authorised protocol for the purposes of Emergency Management (Exposure Sites, Contacts and Diagnosis Requirements No 4) (COVID-19) Direction 2022.

Update includes information and clarification regarding:

  • close contacts
  • RAT arrangements

Read the full update:

Other information:

Information for stakeholders

Managing the COVID-19 pandemic

The World Health Organisation has declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic with containment measures disrupting business activity around the world.

The Department of Energy and Mining (DEM) is well prepared to manage the response to this pandemic, relying on a SA Health strategy that was specifically prepared well in advance of the COVID-19 outbreak.

DEM's containment response will be continuously reviewed to remain consistent with updated Government advice and policy.

The Government of South Australia has identified the energy and mining sectors as key industries essential for the ongoing economic activity of the state. Accordingly, it is critical the Department of Energy and Mining continues to support these businesses to continue operations as far as practical in the current circumstances.

The department is liaising with our energy and mining stakeholders to understand their business continuity plans to avoid and minimise any disruption to the delivery of essential infrastructure and services to the South Australian community.

In line with public health advice, the Department of Energy and Mining is moving to electronic means of engagement within the agency and with our external stakeholders, and continues to keep the channels of communication open as the nationwide response to containing the COVID-19 virus evolves.

The high-level of cooperation the Department has experienced throughout the ongoing health emergency is appreciated and DEM's Chief Executive, Dr Paul Heithersay, will continue to keep the energy and mining resources sectors updated as new information comes to hand.

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Document library

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Updates for South Australia's resources sector

Date Update summary Full text of update

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Revised COVID-ready plan revised in response to learnings of the past month and current infection dynamics. Key points include:

  • Change to arrangements for close contacts
  • Vaccination
  • Mask wearing (preferably p2/N95) key to suppressing transmission
  • Review the use of shared meal areas to reduce infection risk

COVID-ready plan
Assessing and managing the risk: COVID exposures in energy and mining
(PDF, 438.6 KB)

Revised COVID-ready plan, Assessing and managing the risk: COVID exposures in energy and mining (Wednesday 12 January 2022)

Tuesday 28 December 2021

Advice and contact arrangements to protect operational viability of the sector given prevalence of Omicron variant in the community:

Advice and contact arrangements for the energy and resources sector given prevalence of COVID-19 Omicron variant (Tuesday 28 December 2021)

Monday 22 November 2021

Reduced border restrictions from 12:01 am Tuesday 23 November and changes to cross-border travel application process

  • All essential traveller applications must be made via the EntryCheck SA online portal
  • All vaccinated travellers will be permitted to enter South Australia - testing and quarantine conditions of entry may apply
  • Assessments of risk will be made via EntryCheck SA to determine any entry conditions
  • Essential traveller approvals issued by EntryCheck SA will be valid for 3 months, employer letters must still be provided

New cross-border travel application process Tuesday 23 November - update for resources and energy sector

Wednesday 3 November 2021

From 23 November restrictions on cross-border and international travel activities will be eased, providing greater rostering flexibility and reducing travel administration.

  • Fully vaccinated workers from other states and territories can will be able to enter South Australia at any time (some restrictions apply)
  • Individual travellers to apply for cross-border travel approval through new online portal - rather than companies having to submit applications on their behalf
  • Information about South Australia's Test, Trace, Isolate and Quarantine (TTIQ) strategy
Cross-border travel arrangements from  23 November 2021
Tuesday 26 October 2021
  • New South Wales cross-border corridor reinstated but some restrictions and testing requirements remain
  • Travellers from Queensland can transit through New South Wales so long as they comply with General Direction transiting requirements
  • Transit through Sydney airport allowed so long as travellers adhere to mask-wearing requirements and do not leave the airport

Changes to cross-border arrangements for South Australia

Tuesday 5 October 2021
  • Inbound essential travellers from New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory to provide evidence of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination from 11 October
  • Energy and mining sector travellers can record vaccination status with SAPOL - this will shorten waiting times at border check points

Essential traveller vaccination requirements; providing evidence and streamlining cross-border permit processes

Friday 24 September 2021

Update on cross-border exemption template applications and requirements and implementation of vaccination requirements

  • Exemption templates should now only be sent to the Department for Energy and Mining dedicated email address and not to the SA Health address which has been switched off
  • Exemptions required for all New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory travellers determined by 'restricted zones' rather than areas in lockdown
  • Inbound travellers will be required to provide evidence of at least one vaccination dose from 11 October

Resources and energy sector update on cross-border travel exemption application process, including vaccination requirement

Thursday 9 September 2021

Short duration rosters involving frequent cross border travel between South Australia and restricted zones will not be approved at this time. DEM has provided advice and recommendations to streamline the cross-border application process with guidance on documentation and submission requirements. Documentation includes:

COVID-19 update: streamlining the cross-border application process - Essential Traveller Template and SA Health Exemption Application Template

Thursday 26 August 2021

By the end of this week cross-border travel restrictions are to be modified to include a requirement for inbound and returning workers from New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the previous 72 hours and at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to enter South Australia.

Advice on travel from outside and from within 'locked down' zones, and common issues from recent applications for exemption that have caused delays in processing or declined applications.

COVID-19 update for the resources sector: Additional testing and vaccination requirements applied to essential travellers from restricted zones

Monday 16 August 2021

All essential traveller applications must now be accompanied by an employer letter in a new format ahead of each border crossing into South Australia (other than in respect of specific daily cross-border operations in the Cooper Basin).

To support the declaration in the letter, each site must review existing COVID-19 Risk Management/Mitigation Plans to ensure they are in accordance with the requirements outlined in the SA Health Specialist Workers in essential sectors COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Plan template.

COVID-19 update for the resources and energy sector - cross-border travel restrictions tightened for entry into South Australia

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Seven-day lockdown for South Australia starting 6:00 pm Tuesday 20 July 2021 - key points for resources and energy sector operations and activities and operations, including FIFO and other personnel movements.

Seven-day lockdown - key points for resources and energy sector
Wednesday 12 May 2021 All people, including essential travellers, who have been at specified exposure sites at specific dates and times are not permitted to enter South Australia. Quarantine, testing and face mask requirements apply to people who have entered South Australia prior to the revised Direction. Entry restrictions into South Australia from Victoria
Friday 7 May 2021

People who have been at a COVID-19 case location as listed on Government of New South Wales website are not permitted to enter SA from 12:01 am 7 May 2021; quarantine and testing requirements in place for others who have been at the case locations but entered SA prior to 7 May 2021.

Response to COVID-19 transmission in New South Wales - Level 6 restrictions in place
Wednesday 28 April 2021

Cross-border travel direction no. 6 ends prohibition on non-essential travellers from Western Australia COVID-19 - travellers arriving from the Western Australia Perth and Peel regions can now enter South Australia but will be subject to Level 3 requirements regarding COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements, and restrictions on entry to high risk settings.

New cross-border direction (no. 6) regarding travel from Western Australia
Tuesday 27 April 2021

New cross-border travel direction following Western Australia COVID-19 outbreak: resources and energy companies should reinstate control measures for essential travel into South Australia from the Western Australia Perth and Peel regions, avoid worker movements where possible and follow COVID-19 testing, quarantine and wearing of a face mask requirements.

Western Australia COVID-19 outbreak: update for South Australia resources sector

30 March 2021

New directions restricting arrivals from Greater Brisbane area (Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Logan and Redlands) which has been designated a Declared Restricted Zone - exemptions for essential workers (mining, oil, gas and energy sectors) in place but note key entry requirements on arrival at Adelaide Airport for all travellers arriving in South Australia.

Key entry requirements for Category 2 essential travellers

COVID-19 update: revised cross-border travel restrictions

24 February 2021 Under cross-border travel direction number 40, Victoria including the Greater Melbourne Area will join the other states and territories as being designated a Low Community Transmission Zone. Travellers from those zones are not subjected to the testing or quarantine requirements but are still required to register online for contact tracing purposes.

COVID-19: Cross Border Travel from Greater Melbourne

15 February 2021

Under cross-border travel direction number 37 travel from Victoria other than by essential workers prohibited with effect from Friday 13 February; quarantine requirements and testing for persons at Melbourne Airport Terminal 4 from 9 February and for persons at other areas of Melbourne Airport from 7 February; self-isolation, facemask and recording of close contact requirements for essential workers

SA COVID-19 update for resources and energy sector

11 February 2021

Travellers from Greater Melbourne are prohibited from entering South Australia from 12 midnight Thursday 11 February (includes relevant location contact dates); information on transiting passengers: exempt travellers: cross-border travel restrictions with Western Australia and New South Wales; Risk Mitigation Plans

Amended restrictions for travellers arriving in South Australia from Greater Melbourne region

1 February 2021

Tightened restrictions for resource industry workers entering South Australia from 10:15 pm 31 January 2021 - note changes to quarantine and testing regimes, wearing of facemasks and contact recording requirements for travellers entering South Australia from Western Australia, Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the New South Wales Central Coast, and New Zealand.

Tightened restrictions for resource industry workers entering South Australia from 10:15 pm 31 January 2021

29 January 2021

South Australia to ease restrictions on travellers from these NSW former hotspots - subject to no further outbreaks in NSW before the new direction comes into force on Sunday. A new testing regime requiring COVID-19 testing on days 1, 5 and 12 will be in place, with self-isolation from arrival until day 1 test received. Exemptions for essential travel for key mining, oil, gas and energy industries remain in place, however resource companies urged to maintain their own control measures to prevent risk of the virus emerging in their work places.

COVID-19 update 29 January 2021: restrictions eased for travellers from Greater Sydney, NSW Central Coast and Wollongong

8 January 2021

Restrictions to apply for travellers arriving into South Australia from Greater Brisbane from midnight 9 January 2021. Exemptions for essential travellers to South Australia remain in place, but testing, quarantine and self-isolation requirements for anyone arriving from the Greater Brisbane hotspot apply. Resource companies urged to avoid unnecessary worker movements from identified hotspots.

COVID-19 update 8 January 2021: restrictions for travellers from Queensland

31 December 2020

Cross-border travel restrictions will be in place from midnight tonight, Thursday 31 December for travel from New South Wales into South Australia. Restrictions will be similar to those that existed for Victoria earlier this year. Companies may need to submit a Risk Mitigation Template to SA Health asap and complete the compulsory online cross-border travel form for any essential workers required to enter South Australia from New South Wales.

COVID-19 update 31 December 2020: Revised travel direction to be enacted for travel from New South Wales into South Australia

21 December 2020

New Cross Border Travel restrictions for domestic travellers entering South Australia from New South Wales – anyone physically present in NSW Northern Beaches Council local government area from 11 December prohibited from entering SA; requirements for specialist workers in resource and energy sectors from high community transmission zones.

COVID-19 update: New Cross Border Travel restrictions 21 December 2020)
18 December 2020

Removal of Cross Border Travel application process for domestic travellers entering South Australia – effective 16 December 2020. Arrivals at the Adelaide Airport will continue to be met by South Australia Police and only overseas travellers are now required to complete a Cross Border Travel Registration.

9 December 2020

COVID-19 restrictions to ease in a range of settings, including licensed venue and home gatherings; people encouraged to return to working in the office; use of COVID SAfe Check-in QR code system; cross-border restrictions with Queensland eased from Saturday 12 December, assisting energy and mining sectors to resume normal FIFO arrangements.

Update to COVID-19 restrictions in South Australia from Monday 14 December 2020 (PDF)

30 November 2020

Cross-border travel restrictions from Victoria to be eased from Tuesday 1 December but online registration still required; revised requirements for contact tracing and public activities

21 November 2020 Emergency Management Directions released - clarification of COVID-9 controls to apply from 00:01 Sunday 22 November 2020.
20 November 2020

Information regarding employee movements - South Australia's lockdown restrictions eased from 00:01 am Sunday 22 November, resource sector operations may resume under conditions in place on 16 November.

19 November 2020

'Hard border' in place for 48 hours from 11:59 Thursday 19 November, to then be replaced by a permit system. Hard border restrictions mean that only freight drivers and those with medical or emergency reasons, urgent animal welfare or as authorised by law to pass through the border.

19 November 2020

Six day restriction on movement in South Australia to contain current COVID-19 outbreak - advice on how the Direction should be applied to employee movements (local workforces, FIFO, DIDO) and operational activities in the resources and energy sectors

18 November 2020

Six day restriction on movement in South Australia to contain current COVID-19 outbreak - FIFO movements, construction activities, non-essential operations to stop for six days

16 November 2020

Response to 'Parafield cluster' of COVID-19 cases in South Australia - potential exposure locations and times across metropolitan Adelaide, contact tracing, tightened border controls, continued need for company preparedness

COVID-19 update: Responding to new outbreak in South Australia (PDF)

13 October 2020

Further updates to border arrangements (Cross Border Travel Direction 16)

24 September 2020

Cross-border travel direction 15 - New South Wales added to list of Low Community Transmission Zones

COVID-19 update: Cross Border Travel Direction number 15 (PDF)

28 August 2020

Cross-border travel direction 13 now in force - information on quarantine changes for travellers from low community transmission zones transiting through Sydney or Canberra airports, travel exemption application requirements, clarification for arrivals from Queensland, Essential Sector COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Plans, maintenance shutdowns, and family member relocations to decrease FIFO movement

28 July 2020

Significantly reduced travel between South Australia and Victoria, modified arrangements for New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory; required information for travel exemption applications; support for temporary relocation for families; recommendations regarding maintenance shutdowns; and clarification regarding transiting Tasmanian travellers

21 July 2020

Changes to cross-border travel restrictions including compulsory polymerise chain reaction (PCR) testing for people arriving in South Australia, close contact recording for Victorian FIFO workers, use of surgical face masks, and quarantine requirements for Victorian residents

9 July 2020

Emergency Management Direction regarding cross-border travel restrictions updated following escalation in community transmission of COVID-19 in part of Victoria, update on quarantine requirements and on permitted roads, and template for streamlining FIFO travel

COVID-19: revised cross-border travel restrictions (PDF)

19 June 2020

Key changes to the Cross Border Travel Direction (Number 7) and the relevance of these changes to the resources sector, particularly with regard to FIFO and DIDO workers

16 June 2020

State border restrictions for people travelling directly from Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania to be lifted at midnight 16 June 2020, report on the asymptomatic COVID-19 testing trial conducted at Adelaide Airport for inbound FIFO workers

COVID-19 update: WA, NT, TAS borders opening and COVID asymptomatic testing trial (PDF)

12 June 2020

State's border restrictions to be lifted from Monday 20 July 2020 - impact for the mining, oil, gas, energy and METS sectors

1 May 2020

Planning for maintenance shutdowns, process for importing international expertise if required for emergency management, swab testing of FIFO workforces, the COVIDSafe app, and thoughts on the road to economic recovery

Chief Executive's industry update for South Australia's resources sectors (PDF)

14 May 2020

COVID-19 impact and actions required regarding conduct of mineral exploration, working with native title groups, Cross-Border Travel Direction, COVID-19 testing, South Australia's infrastructure strategy and changes to energy legislation

COVID-19: impact on and actions required by South Australia's resources sectors (PDF 445KB)

15 April 2020

SA Health briefing for the resources industry

COVID-19 industry update and SA Health briefing for South Australia's energy and mining sectors (PDF)

4 April 2020

Updates on:

  • Critical work and reduced staff movements
  • Submission of plans to SA Health
  • Fee relief under the Mining and Petroleum Acts
  • FIFO/DIDO workers returning to South Australia
  • Evidence for workers in transit
  • Quarantine for inbound workers
  • Adelaide Airport exposures
  • Clarity for mineral explorers

Chief Executive's update for the mining, quarrying, oil, gas and energy sectors (PDF)

3 April 2020

South Australian Government defers costs linked to exploration and licence fees for the minerals and petroleum sectors with the announcement of:

  • an immediate deferral of mineral exploration licence fees and annual petroleum and geothermal licence fees due in the next six months (now not due until 31 December 2020)
  • a 12-month waiver of committed expenditure for all mineral exploration holders
  • an expansion of allowable expenditures towards minimum petroleum retention licence requirements during a period of low oil prices

Read full details in the Minister for Energy and Mining's media release: Fee relief for the South Australian resources sector

1 April 2020

DEM Chief Executive outlines recommended industry response to the cross-travel directions and social distancing policies rolled out in South Australia

Download the Chief Executive's update for energy and mining resources sectors (PDF)

29 March 2020 Non-essential movements resulting in unnecessary exposure pathways to stop

DEM Chief Executive message 29 March 2020 (PDF)

28 March 2020 Quarantine restrictions on international travellers into South Australia
27 March 2020 Cross-border travel arrangements - information from Dr Paul Heithersay, Chief Executive, Department for Energy and Mining

DEM Chief Executive's message 27 March 2020 (PDF)

27 March 2020 Cross-border travel arrangements - advice for Cooper Eromanga Basin Operators from South Australian Department for Energy and Mining and Queensland Gas Inspectorate

COVID-19 advice for Cooper Eromanga Basin Operaters (HTML)

24 March 2020 Measures for controlling COVID-19 transmission

DEM Chief Executive's message 24 March 2020 (PDF)

Managing supply risks - guidance and tools for resource companies

The Minerals Council of Australia and the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy and their member companies have developed two documents for use by the resources sector to further promote the operationalising of national protocols as they navigate the restrictions required to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Managing Supply Risks document provides practical guidance to resource companies to ensure supply risks to business critical services and products are identified, assessed and managed. The Essential Supplier Letter template is a tool for companies to use if suppliers seek or require confirmation of their 'essential status' to the resources industry.

The Department of Energy and Mining encourages essential industries in South Australia to use the guide and template letter to assist state authorities to maintain the restrictions while minimising the disruption to critical business operations.

More information is available from the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) website

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Keeping our staff and the working environment safe

All DEM employees are taking measures to reduce potential exposure to the virus and to maintain the health and wellbeing of the department's staff and their families.

These measures include:

  • Implementing staff working from home rosters while ensuring critical functions are maintained
  • Guidance on appropriate social distancing, limiting meeting room capacities and providing alternatives to face-to-face meetings using Skype for Business and Microsoft teams
  • Cancellation of all business travel
  • An obligation for employees to report any recent travel and the results of any testing for COVID-19
  • Adopting a self-isolation policy following SA Health guidelines
  • Increasing daily cleaning services at our offices including meeting room tables, IT equipment, light switches, door handles and lift buttons and other high use surfaces
  • Encouraging good hygiene practices, including the provision of hand sanitiser and cleaning agents throughout the offices

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More information

SA Health

Updates, advice and information for South Australians about COVID-19 can be found on SA Health's:

South Australian Government

State-based COVID-19 information can be accessed from:

  • a dedicated website sa.gov.au/covid-19 (includes Emergency Declaration and directions, business information including financial support, and frequently asked questions)
  • the South Australia COVID-19 Information Line 1800 253 787 (open 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, 7 days a week)

Department of Energy and Mining

If you have any queries regarding the work of the Department in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak please email DEM.corporateservices@sa.gov.au

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