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Update from Dr Paul Heithersay, Chief Executive, Department for Energy and Mining.

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Further updates have been made to refine cross border travel restrictions for South Australia, with Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel No 9) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 now in effect.

The key change in the updated Direction is the introduction of compulsory PCR testing for people arriving in South Australia from Victoria, New South Wales or the Australian Capital Territory, to be conducted within 24 hours of entry and again on day 12. Reflecting significant concern about heightened infection risk, this sets a new standard of risk mitigation for the South Australian community.

This change does not apply to essential travellers, in recognition of the flexibility required to manage different operational circumstances across various sectors.

To manage operational and reputational risk for the energy and mining sector, DEM strongly recommends all companies that have not already done so revisit their infection control plans and look to integrate testing for inbound workers from New South Wales or Australian Capital Territory, and those entering from or transiting through Victoria into their strategies.

Other relevant changes and clarifications include:

  • ‘Close contact recording’ for Victorian residents entering South Australia as Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) workers is not required to be completed by the worker unless they are not at work at any time during the first 14 days. As stated in the previous Chief Executive Update - companies must maintain records suitable for contact tracing for these inbound workers.
  • All Victorian residents reporting to work in SA (under the Schedule 2 essential skills, remote or isolated FIFO, or commercial transport and freight exemptions) are required to self-quarantine when not working during the first 14 days. Companies must take steps so far as is reasonably practicable to support this requirement.
  • Essential travellers as classified under Schedule 2 must wear a surgical face mask whenever they are in public areas for 14 days from their arrival in South Australia. For remote FIFO workers, this means wearing a mask during transit as a minimum requirement.
  • After a person who arrives from New South Wales or Australian Capital Territory, or who arrives from or through Victoria, spends 14 days in self-quarantine in South Australia, the restrictions in Direction 9 no longer apply to that person for the remaining duration of their stay.
  • Any South Australian reporting to work in Victoria must self-quarantine for 14 days on return to South Australia, irrespective of the location or nature of the work in Victoria. If that person is due to travel back to site within the 14 days (for example someone working on a 2/1 roster), then quarantine directions will be lifted on application to SA Police as required (contact DEM.IndustryEnquiries@sa.gov.au to arrange an exemption).
  • Essential travellers must not bring any other person with them into South Australia unless those persons are also essential travellers.

The Department for Energy and Mining, SAPOL and SA Health continue to work closely in support of sustained operations across the energy and mining sector as these important changes are made to protect the South Australian community.

Your ongoing support in these challenging circumstances is greatly appreciated.

If you have any queries or other COVID-19 management issues for the sector, contact DEM.IndustryEnquiries@sa.gov.au

Paul Heithersay
Chief Executive
Department for Energy and Mining