Stronger powers to enforce COVID-19 self isolation

18 Mar 2020
Stronger powers to enforce COVID-19 self isolation

SA Health and SAPOL are working together to ensure South Australians are protected amid the threat of coronavirus.

A strong legal Direction has been issued by SA Health requiring people coming to Australia to comply with self-isolation.

Premier Steven Marshall said that South Australians can be assured that the Government is rolling out a clear and strong plan to tackle the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are a team with a strong plan in place and our actions to date should fill the community with confidence, knowing they have a Government willing to do whatever it takes to manage these challenges,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“We simply cannot sit idle. We are acting to minimise and slow the spread of the coronavirus here in South Australia, and that has included the swift action of declaring a Public Health Emergency in recent days.

“This declaration means that we can implement all nationally agreed initiatives to deal with this global pandemic and safeguard the health and wellbeing of all South Australians.”

Under the declaration under the Public Health Act 2011, the Chief Executive of the Department for Health and Wellbeing now has never-before used powers to act swiftly and effectively to contain and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

With these powers, everyone arriving into Adelaide Airport from a flight outside of Australia will be handed a Direction by Commonwealth Border Force outlining their obligation to self-isolate at home for 14 days, along with a fact sheet developed by SA Health with advice and support information on how to self-isolate.

South Australia Police (SAPOL) will conduct ‘spot checks’ of those who have recently returned overseas, based on details provided in their incoming passenger visitor cards, to ensure they are abiding by the Direction for self-isolation.

Now more than ever, it’s important that overseas travellers to complete those forms correctly and ensure they are including accurate contact information on them.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said these measures are part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s strong plan to protect and prepare South Australia from the impact of COVID-19.

“SA Health has developed conditions and clear advice and relevant support information for those people returning to South Australian on how to self-isolate,” Minister Wade said.

“The advice from public health officials is that these measures can aid significantly in addressing an outbreak of COVID-19.

“I urge people to continue to comply with public health advice and directions.  With everyone working together we have the best chance of limiting and slowing the spread of the virus in the community.

“There are significant penalties in place for any person or body corporate who fails to comply with the new direction.

“South Australians can rest assured that we are taking every precaution necessary based on expert health advice to safeguard them from the coronavirus.”