South Australia’s COVID reopening road map revealed – what businesses should know
On 15 November 2021, the South Australian Government revealed details of its long-awaited roadmap in advance of South Australia reopening its borders to the rest of Australia on 23 November 2021.
Whilst no formal directions have yet been released, the roadmap sets out the Government’s policy for dealing with positive COVID-19 cases after 23 November 2021.
Relevantly, businesses will not necessarily be required to shut their doors if they are identified as an exposure location for a confirmed case of COVID-19.
If a COVID positive case visits their premises, businesses will be required to undertake a risk assessment to determine what precautionary measures will need to be put in place having regard to the perceived level of transmission risk.
Relevant factors for assessing who may be required to quarantine or be tested will include:
- whether the contacts of the positive case are vaccinated or not;
- how close in proximity the contacts came with the positive case;
- whether the contacts were wearing masks;
- whether contact occurred indoors or outdoors;
- the size of the space where the contact took place; and
- the time period of the contact.
Unlike a number of other States which have mandated vaccination for many ‘public facing’ industries and businesses, the approach in South Australia appears to be to leave it to individual businesses to take steps to manage the risks of transmission of COVID-19, including through social distancing, masks and QR Code check-in requirements.
We anticipate this approach will lead to confusion for businesses in understanding what steps they ought to be taking to comply with Government directives, manage their work health and safety obligations and minimise the risk of disruption to their businesses. Precisely how compliance will be policed also currently remains unclear.
This article provides general commentary only. It is not legal advice. Before acting on the basis of any material contained in this article, seek professional advice.