**Last updated 4 December 2020
Density Requirements – Immediate Change Announced
Effective immediately, hospitality will be able to revert to one person per two square metres in South Australia. The announcement was made on Friday by SA Police Commissioner, Grant Stevens, at the press conference.
VIC/SA Border Re-Opens
The Victorian border has now re-opened. Travellers from Victoria will not be required to undertake 14 days of quarantine. You are still required to register your travel. For more information, please visit the SAPOL website here.
Direction in Effect
The Emergency Management (Public Activities No 14) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 came into effect at 12:01 am on 1 December 2020 and revokes the Emergency Management (Public Activities No 13) (COVID-19) Direction 2020. To view the current Direction, please visit this webpage. The information below is not the complete Direction.
The total number of people at a place must not exceed 1 person per 4 square metres indoors and 1 person per 2 square metres outdoors.
Food and beverages which are served for consumption at venues (including pubs, cafes, clubs, restaurants, wineries, etc.) must be consumed whilst seated when indoors. Communal food and beverages are not permitted.
If people are sitting at a bar there must be no food preparation taking place.
Private functions (indoors) are also 1 person per 2 square metres.
The following gathering provisions apply:
Private function (including wedding and funerals)
150 people maximum 1 person per 2 square metres
Private functions include weddings, funerals, parties or any other function which is by invite only that is held at licensed premises. The function must be in a designated area which has no public access and where possible separate bathroom facilities from the rest of the venue.
Guests must use their best endeavours to remain segregated from other patrons at the premises. Food and beverages must have no shared utensils but can be consumed while standing. Dancing is also permitted.
10 people per house (unless more than 10 people permanently reside at the residence)
150 people maximum
Under the current direction the following venues must not open
- Indoor play centres
- Amusement parks and arcades
Please visit this page for answers and information on some common questions related to the current situation in South Australia.
Working from home
While there has been an easing of some restrictions, it is still strongly recommended that people continue to work from home where possible.
Continued flexibility in the workplace at this time will support the current COVID-19 response in South Australia. It will also help to ensure business continuity in the event of an outbreak.
For more information, please visit this summary.
QR Codes for South Australia
A COVID SAfe Check-In feature has been added to the free mySA GOV app.
Businesses with a COVID Safe Plan will receive a new COVID Safe Plan via email that includes a poster with a unique QR code. This should be printed and displayed in a prominent location within the business. When people arrive at a venue or business, they can check in by scanning the QR code using their smart phone through the mySA Gov app.
If people don’t have the app they can use their smart phone camera and a secure web form will open to check in. A paper recording log template is available as a back-up for people who don’t have a smart phone. You can download the template here.
People will receive a text confirmation when they check in.
All defined public activities must have a completed COVID Safe Plan and have an approved contact tracing system enabled.
All people entering the place upload their relevant contact details to the approved contact tracing system. This upload is automatic when you use the mySA Gov QR code and app.
A defined public activity is any of the following:
- onsite purchase and consumption of food or beverages (whether occurring in an indoor or outdoor area)
- sport (including sports training), fitness or recreation activities
- indoor public meetings
- private functions
- weddings (including wedding ceremonies and receptions)
- funeral services (excluding wakes)
- provision of personal care services
- provision of public entertainment
- provision of recreational transport
- the operation of a nightclub
- the operation of relevant licensed premises
- the operation of a casino or gaming area (within the meaning of the Gaming Machines Act 1992)
- auctions and inspections of premises for the purpose of sale or rental of any property
- driver instruction
- the provision of health care, residential care, disability support or aged care services.
You will find an FAQ for businesses here.
For The Community
COVID SAfe Check-In is a new feature that has been added to the free mySA GOV app.
You can download the mySA GOV app using your smart phone. In the mySA GOV app, select the COVID SAfe Check-In tile when you arrive at a venue or business, and follow the prompts to scan their unique QR code and check in.
You are not required to login to use the COVID SAfe Check-In feature.
Download the app from Google Play or the App Store from the afternoon of Tuesday 1 December. Apple users will be able to sign in manually until the Apple version is updated and available on Tuesday afternoon. If you already have the mySA GOV app, make sure you have the latest version, which may require you to download the app update.
If you do not have a compatible smart phone, a paper record will be available for you to provide your details.
When you first enter the COVID SAfe Check-In tile, you will be asked to fill in your details and mobile number. You will then get a text message with a unique code to enter in to the app. This is to verify your phone number. You will only have to do this once.
Victorian Border Controls Now in Effect
In response to the coronavirus situation in South Australia, the Victorian Government will implement temporary border controls. At 11:59pm Sunday 22 November, the new Border Crossing Permit Scheme Directions came into effect. A copy of the Directions is available here
People crossing from South Australia into Victoria now require a permit. Victorian Border Crossing Permits will be issued for travellers based on the locations visited or travelled through in South Australia. These locations are categorised as green, orange and red zones.
Green Zone – If you have visited locations in the Green Zone, you will be able to receive a Victorian Border Crossing Permit. The Green Zone is all areas of South Australia, outside of metropolitan Adelaide.
Orange Zone – If you have visited locations in the Orange Zone, you will be able to receive a Victorian Border Crossing Permit. The Orange Zone is all areas of metropolitan Adelaide, not including areas designated as a Red Zone.
Red Zone – If you have visited locations in the Red Zone during the exposure period listed below, you will not be able to receive a Victorian Border Crossing Permit and you will not be allowed to enter Victoria.
More information, including a list of the locations currently in the ‘red zone’ is available at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/south-australian-border-permit
Please note the temporary critical agricultural harvest letter of permit issued by Agriculture Victoria will no longer apply.
Exemption – cross-border community members
The 70-kilometre cross border permit arrangements between Victoria and South Australia are still in place. You can display your previous permits or your licence with an address within 70 kms of the border.
Exemption – emergency services and people residing on property that extends across the border
Those receiving or providing emergency medical care, providing or receiving emergency services or residing on a property that extends across both South Australia and Victoria will be exempt from the requirement for a permit.
How to apply
Please visit the Service Victoria website to apply – https://www.service.vic.gov.au/services/border-permit/home
If any assistance is required with the permit application process, please call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398, then select Option 2 then Option 2.
Government Support and Programs
Small Business Grants Round 2 – Extended Deadlines
The second round of Small Business Grants includes $10,000 grants for eligible small businesses that employ staff and are receiving JobKeeper from 28 September 2020. The second round also introduces $3,000 grants for small businesses that do not employ staff, are operating from commercial premises, and are receiving JobKeeper from 28 September 2020.
Applications are now open to midnight 28 February 2021.
JobKeeper Payments – September Extension
From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim the JobKeeper Payment will be required to demonstrate that they have suffered a decline in turnover using actual GST turnover rather than projected GST turnover. For the JobKeeper fortnights starting 28 September 2020 and 12 October 2020 only, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are allowing employers until 31 October 2020 to meet the wage condition for all employees included in the JobKeeper scheme.
Employers do not need to re-enrol to claim payments in the first extension if they are already enrolled in JobKeeper. They just need to check their continuing eligibility and submit this information online from 1 October 2020.
Support and Information Available from ATO
Support is available on the ATO website for anyone experiencing difficulties with tax obligations due to COVID-19. For help tailored to your circumstances call the Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 or email COVID-19Taxissues@ato.gov.au.
If you prefer to use a language other than English, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50 for help with your call. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can phone the Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30.
The ATO website also includes significant information on support for Individuals, Sole traders and Business owners and operators – start here. For sole traders, you will find some specific information here.
Rural Business Support – Rural Financial Counselling
Rural Business Support (RBS) has a new financial counselling program that can support small business owners across the Limestone Coast find their way forward from COVID-19.
A Small Business Financial Counsellor is now based in the region and will be providing free, independent and confidential financial counselling services to eligible clients. For more information, visit the website.
The Federal Government’s website business.gov.au is a key source of information on the financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the COVID-19 related financial support available for Australian businesses. The website also includes a range of tools, guides and information on matters like business planning, links to ATO and other useful resources for your business. They have also released a Continuing your business guide, designed to help business-owners understand what to do to keep their business operating.
Federal Government HomeBuilder Stimulus
HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. HomeBuilder will assist the residential construction market by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations.
Information on when and how you will be able to apply will become available through the relevant State or Territory revenue office in due course.
Information about what Homebuilder will mean for the construction industry is available on business.gov.au or by contacting 13 28 46. Please keep in touch with business.gov.au for updated State and Territory information as it becomes available.
You can find out more, read a FAQ’s factsheet or register for more information here.
COVID-19 and Australian Workplace Laws
The Fair Work Australia website contains information and links to relevant Government sites, on the topic of employer obligations during COVID-19. It addresses many questions employers may be asking, including pay and leave during the coronavirus, health and safety and ending employment.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Support
The Australian Government’s ‘Head to Health’ website is committed to providing Australians with trusted information and digital supports to help support everyone’s mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic. For information, resources and links to support services please visit this link.
There are other valuable services available to help you as you navigate life in a COVID-19 impacted world.
- Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800 or kidshelpline.com.au
- Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
- Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 or suicidecallbackservice.org.au
- beyondblue: 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au
Rent Relief for Commercial Tenants
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced new rental waivers and deferrals for commercial tenants hit by the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Under the scheme, landlords will have to reduce leases in proportion to the reduction in the tenant’s business.
Deferrals — rental payments that will need to be made, but can be put off — must be spread over the remaining time on a lease and for no less than 24 months. The code will apply to any tenancies where the landlord or tenant applies for JobKeeper and where they have a turnover of $50 million or less.
Further information on the COVID-19 mandatory commercial tenancy code can be found here.
For essential information for South Australian Lessees and Lessors dealing with COVID-19, please visit the Small Business Commissioner at this link.
National Jobs Hub
The Australian Government has launched a new Jobs Hub, supporting businesses and those Australians looking for work. The Jobs Hub helps Australians looking for work find advertised vacancies.
An up-to-date list of a selection of businesses and organisations that are currently hiring, and how to contact them, can be found here.
While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, there are some areas of the economy which have an increased demand for workers.
Employers who are hiring and want support to connect with potential candidates can also contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment at firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected directly with businesses reducing their workforces; and the employment services network to source suitable candidates.
South Australian Restrictions, Programs and Support
Current Cross Border Restrictions
The latest Emergency Management Cross Border Travel Direction can be accessed here.
Cross Border Travel Registration
Anyone planning travel to SA must complete a Cross Border Travel Registration. This includes:
- people entering from states in the Low Community-Transmission Zone (ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, TAS and WA)
- essential travellers entering from Victoria
- SA residents returning home from any other state other than Victoria, regardless of how long they were interstate.
You should aim to complete the Cross-Border Travel Registration at least 14 days before you leave, regardless of where your travel begins. Please register at this website Cross-Border Travel Registration
Travel from Victoria
Currently, travellers who may enter South Australia from Victoria include:
- Students returning to South Australia after studying in Victoria
- People relocating to South Australia permanently, provided criteria around accommodation can be met
- People relocating to South Australia for work purposes, provided criteria around accommodation and a contract for employment in SA can be met
- People passing through South Australia, for example, driving to Western Australia or the Northern Territory, provided they will be allowed entry into that state on arrival.
Like all travellers entering South Australia, they will need to complete a Cross Border travel approval form online via the SAPOL website.
A person is eligible for Cross Border Community Member status if they reside within 70 km of the South Australia/Victorian border.
Cross-border community members can travel up to 70 km into SA or VIC, for any reason, from their point of entry into the relevant state. If the person travels more than 70 km into Victoria they will not be permitted to re-enter South Australia.
For those people travelling between SA and Vic travel restrictions now apply for all travellers. The 70-kilometre cross border community member arrangements between Victoria and South Australia are still in place. South Australians will need to display the cross border approval or drivers licence with an address within 70 kms.
For more information check Victorian Border Crossing Permits.
Certain people may be deemed Essential Travellers based on their need to travel to SA.
The categories of Essential Travellers are listed in the Essential Traveller Schedules 1 and 2 on the Cross Border Travel Direction page.
Different conditions apply to different categories of Essential Travellers. Please refer to this table.
All Essential Travellers are still required to complete the Cross Border Travel Registration.
Essential Traveller Health Exemptions
If you wish to enter South Australia as an Essential Traveller, you may need approval from SA Health before submitting your Cross Border Travel Registration. This includes Essential Travellers in categories for urgent medical, surgical or dental treatment; compassionate grounds; and health care workers who are required to undertake work on behalf of SA Health.
To seek this approval , complete the SA Health Essential Traveller Application form. Your Cross Border Travel Registration cannot be processed for these categories until you have written approval from SA Health. A Health Exemptions Committee, led by the Deputy State Controller – Health, meets regularly to consider the applications.
Read more about Essential traveller health exemptions.
If you are entering South Australia from a Low Community-Transmission Zone you are not required to seek approval from SA Health, however, you are still required to complete the Cross Border Travel Registration.
Local COVID-19 Testing
Current arrangements for COVID-19 testing at LCLHN sites:
- Mount Gambier Showgrounds: Hours: 8:00am to 4:00pm, 7 days a week. Urgent testing outside of these hours can be discussed by calling (08) 8721 1200.
- Naracoorte Hospital: Hours: 8:00am to 4:00pm, 7 days a week
- Millicent Hospital: Hours: 1:30pm to 2:30pm. Please phone (08) 8733 0100 to arrange testing or discuss urgent testing outside these hours.
South Australian Paid Pandemic Leave Scheme
The State Government will introduce a Paid Pandemic Leave Scheme in South Australia, offering ‘isolation’ payments of up to $1,500 for eligible workers who are required to quarantine. They can also be offered to those who care for someone required to quarantine, for up to 14 days following a positive COVID-19 test or as a result of a public health directive. Under the scheme a separate upfront ‘testing’ payment of $300 will be available for eligible workers in an identified COVID-19 cluster who are required to self-isolate while awaiting a coronavirus test result or as a result of a public health directive. A designated COVID-19 cluster is one notified by the Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, or her delegate.
Other eligibility criteria for the Paid Pandemic Leave Scheme in South Australia includes:
- Recipient must be 17 years old and over;
- Be a citizen, permanent resident or holder of necessary visa and work permits;
- Be a casual employee or full-time or part-time employee who can demonstrate they would have ordinarily worked, and cannot as a result of the need to isolate, and has no or insufficient entitlement to necessary paid leave;
- Is not receiving any other Australian Government payments such as JobSeeker or JobKeeper during the period of self-isolation;
Individuals who are required to quarantine for 14 days (or more) due to returning from overseas or interstate would not be eligible for the payment. People who consider they meet the eligibility criteria will be required to apply for the payment through an online application process, to be administered by the Department for Human Services. Confirmation of a pandemic leave payment will also be made to their employer, to provide additional surety that an employee does not return to work for the required period. View the media release here.
From 21 August 2020, you must have a COVID Marshal if your business or activity is or involves any of the following:
- The onsite purchase and consumption of food or beverages (indoor and outdoor);
- Hardware stores;
- Distribution centres (including associated transport operations);
- Gymnasiums and fitness centres;
- Swimming pools used by the public;
- Social and sporting clubs (indoor and outdoor);
- Any activity where a COVID Management Plan is required; and
- Any operation which may be defined by the state coordinator.
For more information on the Roles and responsibilities of a COVID Marshal, please visit this webpage.
COVID Marshal fact sheets are available here.
Who needs to create a COVID-Safe Plan?
The Public Activities COVID-19 Direction places conditions on businesses that conduct a number of Defined public activities.
Businesses involved in a Defined public activity must have a COVID-Safe Plan in place in order to trade.
See Activities and gatherings for:
- definitions of Defined public activities
- businesses and activities that are still restricted
- businesses and activities that are excluded from the Direction.
If you have not completed a COVID-Safe Plan, do not have this available at your premises, or do not comply with current Directions, you can be fined up to $5,000.
To find out more about the COVID-Safe Plan and for the link to the online form, please visit this webpage.
Voluntary COVID-Safe Plan
If your activity or business is not a Defined Public Activity, you are not legally required to complete a COVID-Safe Plan. However, should you wish to have a Plan as an extra precaution, you can complete a Voluntary COVID-Safe Plan here (scroll down for the link to the online form).
COVID Management Plan
A COVID Management Plan, approved by SA Health, will be required for:
- a defined public activity where more than 1000 people are reasonably expected to be present at or participating in the activity
- the onsite purchase and consumption of food or beverages at a place where the total number of persons present at the place for the purpose of the purchase and consumption of food or beverages is reasonably expected to exceed 1000 people
- the operation of a nightclub
- the operation of relevant licensed premises
In some cases, your events/business/activity may require both a COVID Management Plan and a COVID-Safe Plan for each vendor. For the Management Plan, please visit this link and scroll down.
Information on Commercial Leasing
New legislation and regulations were brought into effect on 15 May concerning commercial leases in the Covid-19 pandemic environment.
The Act and Regulations make various temporary modifications in relation to commercial leases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including stopping evictions.
Land Tax Relief Boost for Landlords and Tenants
A land tax relief scheme which supports landlords provide significant rent reductions for their residential and commercial SME tenants impacted by COVID-19 restrictions will be significantly expanded and extended by 6 months, to the end of April next year. Under the State Government scheme, eligible landlords now can receive up to a 50% reduction on their 2019-20 land tax liability on affected properties (up from 25%) – provided they pass on the full benefit in land tax relief to their impacted tenants. View more information and the media release here.
South Australian Support for Tourism Operators
The State Government has announced a $5.7 million financial support package to help local tourism operators get through – and continue well past – the current COVID-19 crisis.
The two major funding packages, the Small Tourism Business Grant Fund and the Regional Events Grant Fund are now closed. If you have any questions relating to the Grant Funds, please email.
In addition, the SA Tourism Commission (SATC) has developed other programs which will assist the industry more widely including the Digital Training Program, Regional Funding Support Program and the Resilience and Rebound Project.
For more details, eligibility, dates, terms and conditions, and to apply, visit the SATC Tourism Response Portal.
Fee and rent relief for nature-based tourism businesses including fishing – The South Australian Government will provide fee and rent relief for nature-based tourism businesses (including boating experiences and fishing) who have been significantly impacted in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. View media release here.