South Australia is bringing in sweeping new restrictions amid fears three Sydney removalists may have spread Covid through the state.
The new regulations will be enforced from midnight on Thursday despite no new community Covid cases having been detected in South Australia.
The two new SA cases announced on Thursday were both in hotel quarantine.
But Premier Steven Marshall announced the crackdown as a ‘pre-emptive measure’, he said, in a bid to get ahead of the disease before it could spread.
South Australia is bringing in sweeping new restrictions amid fears three Sydney removalists may have spread Covid through the state. Seen here are two women wearing masks in Adelaide Airport
The new regulations will come in from midnight on Thursday despite no new community Covid cases having been detected in South Australia. Customers at an Adelaide bottle shop are pictured here with one wearing a mask
Under the new rules, masks will be required in aged care facilities and at locations like hairdressers.
Private gatherings will be limited to just 150 people while singing, dancing and shisha have also been banned.
Customer numbers in licensed premises will also be restricted to just 50 per cent capacity.
Earlier in the week the state also announced truck and freight drivers coming into SA will now need to undergo mandatory testing.
Under the new rules, masks will be required in aged care facilities and at locations like hairdressers. Seen here is a masked fan at an Adelaide Thunderbirds netball game
Premier Steven Marshall (pictured) announced the crackdown as a ‘pre-emptive measure’, he said, in a bid to get ahead of the disease before it could spread
Mr Marshall added: ‘The deteriorating situation around the country is a major wakeup call for South Australia.
‘We don’t want lockdowns here so we’re asking South Australian to co-operate.
‘We are very concerned about the transmission which occurred at the MCG so we need to take action to protect SA.’
It follows a worrying trail of exposure sites left by an infected team of removalists who travelled from Sydney to Melbourne and then on to Adelaide, spreading the disease in their wake.
The removalist crew set off from Covid-ravaged western Sydney on July 8 stopping at a Hungry Jacks and a Caltex service station in Kalkallo before dropping off a load of furniture to a home in Craigieburn on Melbourne’s northern outskirts.
The infected removalists travelled to Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s west to the third floor of the Ariele Apartments (pictured) and picked up a set of furniture bound for Adelaide
They then travelled to Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s west to the third floor of the Ariele Apartments and picked up a set of furniture bound for Adelaide.
Later that evening on July 8, the removalists left Melbourne and travelled to Ballan, near Ballarat where they visited a Mobil service station and a McDonald’s for food and one had a shower.
The following morning, on July 9, they headed to McLaren Vale in Adelaide, where one of the crew was informed by NSW Health that they were a primary close contact of another positive case back in Sydney.
All three crew members then headed back to Sydney on July 10, but stopped off at a Shell service station and the adjoining Coolabah Tree cafe in Tailem Bend, South Australia, and a Hungry Jack’s in Marulan, NSW.
Attempts to trace fellow customers at the Tailem Bend location have been delayed by a lack of QR code sign-ins. Despite police finding 76 credit card receipts, just 25 people had checked-in properly.
At least 118 people may have come into close contact with the removalists at the South Australian service station and cafe. All are now in isolation and have tested negative. Seen here is a testing facility in Adelaide
Contact tracers now believe at least 118 people may have come into close contact with the removalists at the service station and cafe. All are now in isolation and have tested negative.
SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens warned: ‘I need people to understand just how serious this is and how close we are to imposing further restrictions on the community of South Australia.’
Later that day one of the crew returned a positive test. Then on July 11, a second crew member was also confirmed to be infected.
Victoria Health has been desperately trying to map out all the possible locations that may have been exposed to the disease by the removalists, but their efforts have been hampered.
Victoria’s Covid response commander Jeroen Weimar (pictured) said the information the three removalists gave to contact tracers was ‘not as crisp and clear and consistent’
The state’s Covid response commander Jeroen Weimar said the information the trio gave to contact tracers was ‘not as crisp and clear and consistent’ as it should be, with two not believed to speak English.
‘I don’t have a complete accurate track in terms of exactly where they stayed,’ Mr Weimar said.
‘My understanding at this point in time is that they stayed in their cab as part of their protocols.
‘Any other locations they may have stopped at we’re still trying to track down definitively.’
South Australia currently has 16 active cases of Covid and experts are still trying to trace the cause of one patient who may have contracted the virus from another guest who was staying at the same quarantine hotel.
Health authorities are trying to figure out how a man in his 40s caught coronavirus inside his room on the top floor of the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Adelaide.
One theory is that the virus spread through aerosol transmission, which means the man could have inhaled Covid-19 particles from a patient in his 20s who was staying in the opposite room.
SA Health are scrambling to track down 14 other guests who were in isolation at the hotel at the same time as the new case – ten of whom has since travelled interstate.
State laws say all travellers must get a Covid test three days after leaving quarantine.
A further five guests from the hotel’s 19th floor have been ordered to stay in quarantine until the situation is resolved.
South Australia imposes strict new restrictions despite recording no new community Covid cases