What is non essential retail? SA introduces tough Level 4 restrictions to contain COVID-19 outbreak


South Australia has imposed widespread coronavirus restrictions, including closing all non-essential retail outlets, following the discovery of a second COVID-19 case.

The daughter of an 81-year-old man has now tested positive along with her father after the pair arrived from Argentina some time ago.

Another man, aged in his fifties, has now also tested positive.

Premier Steven Marshall says five other close contacts of the pair have tested negative so far but authorities are very concerned about the current situation.

“We only have one chance to get this right. Our focus from day one has been to go hard and to go early to minimise the level of disruption,” he said.

“We’ve got to respond quickly.”

So, what qualifies as essential and non-essential retail? While the official list hasn’t been released by authorities yet, some of the major closures were outlined in a press conference on Monday afternoon.

Essential retail

  • Pharmacies and medical centres
  • Supermarkets and grocery retailers
  • Petrol stations
  • Liquor outlets
  • Hardware stores
  • Mechanics and bicycle repairs
  • Laundromats and drycleaners
  • Post offices
  • Public transport services
  • Banks and credit unions

Non-essential retail

  • Gyms and indoor fitness venues
  • Beauty salons and nail spas
  • Boutiques
  • Shisha bars

The full list will likely be confirmed by SA officials on Monday night. We’ll update the list here once it’s released.

“There is a difficulty in being definitive with this list that you’re going to properly capture everybody should be captured in terms of being able to trade and excluding those that should not,” Police Commissioner Grant Stevens told reporters.

“There will be a business by business assessment in terms of what they can trade and what they can’t.”


Supermarkets will remain open and the major outlets say they have more than enough stock on hand to keep South Australians supplied with the essentials – but there will be some restrictions.

Coles has introduced a temporary two-pack per person limit on toilet paper.

“We have plenty of stock in our supply chain, and purchase limits are a temporary measure to help us manage demand so that we can return our stores to a fully-stocked position as quickly as possible,” Coles said in a statement.

“We ask that customers stay calm, shop normally and be respectful to our hard-working team members.”


The new SA restrictions include a density change to one person to every four square metres in all venues, while all team and contact sport is to be cancelled.

All dining will need to be seated with a ban imposed on dancing and singing.

Masks will be required in all indoor public areas, including shopping malls.

Family gatherings will be restricted to 10 people but schools will stay open.

The new rules will apply from midnight on Monday and will be reviewed on Friday.

Stevens said while SA was not moving to a full lockdown, the restrictions were significant.

“We know there are people who will struggle as a result of these changes. But the consequences of not taking action could be even more severe,” he said.

“The intent here is to dramatically suppress all discretionary activity in the community.”

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