SA cautious on international travellers

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South Australia will look to ease interstate borders first before making a move on international arrivals with Premier Steven Marshall vowing to continue the state’s “prudent” approach to handling COVID-19.

Mr Marshall says SA will not immediately follow a NSW plan to allow international travellers in from November without quarantine, if they are fully vaccinated and test negative for the virus on departure and arrival.

The premier says NSW is dealing with a very different scenario to SA, with large numbers of COVID-19 cases across the state.

“We look at the expert advice we’ve received. Certainly, we want to get to the 80 per cent double vaccinated mark before we’re easing our state borders,” he said on Friday.

“We’ll look at international borders after that.”

At current rates, SA is likely to reach that vaccination target at some stage in December.

At that stage, it expects to ease the hard border closures with NSW, Victoria and the ACT but will keep some rules in place depending on individual circumstances.

Mr Marshall said that would result in more virus cases in SA with a peak suggested to come earlier in the new year.

But he said SA would not be rushing changes in.

“We’re being prudent here in South Australia. We’re going to stick with the methodology that we’ve had from day one,” he said.

“Listen to the science, listen to the evidence, listen to the experts and put all the resources in place.”

Also on Friday, the government said it had secured another 73 beds in public hospitals to free up capacity in public facilities, particularly the Royal Adelaide Hospital which will take most COVID-19 positive patients needing support.

The extra beds come on top of the 200 announced across the public hospital network earlier this week as part of a $123 million strategy to handle the expected rise in coronavirus cases.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said the government would deliver the hospital capacity for South Australia to be COVID-ready.

“Just as we have followed the public health advice in order to keep the state safe throughout the pandemic, we are doing everything we can to support the health needs of South Australians when vaccination targets are met,” he said.

“South Australians can be assured that when our borders reopen, our health system will be ready for all to access the care they need if required.”


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