Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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Responding to COVID-19


A number of COVID-19 restrictions ease from Monday 14 December, but restrictions that apply to the health, disability, allied health and residential care sectors under the current Public Activity Direction will remain in place until 23 December 2020

From 14 December the COVID Safe Check-in system for contact tracing is expanded to include the retail sector, restrictions on visitors to aged care facilities are removed, and density requirements return to 1 person per 2 square metres in many settings, including our sector. In addition, the recommendation to work from home where possible has changed, with workers encouraged to return to the workplace from 14 December.

For more information, including on masks, QR codes and supported independent living (SIL) housing, view SACOSS' update here. If you have any questions or concerns about the directions, the DHS is encouraging people to contact DHS’s COVID-19 Response team


Important updates have been made to the recent Direction under the Emergency Management Act, amending requirements relating to masks. The updated Direction came into force on Friday 4 December from 5.40pm. For more information view SACOSS' update here


The new direction put in place this week expanded the definition of 'public activities' to include the provision of health care, residential care, disability support or aged care services, to provide additional protections to cohorts of vulnerable people. It set a number of requirements to be met, as reported in our update earlier this week. On Wednesday, the Chief Public Health Officer flagged that some additional changes would be made to the directions, particularly around the types of masks required. SA Police has advised that the grace period to implement changes in the direction will be extended until 12.01am, Saturday 5 December 2020.

DHS advises that it has been working closely with SA Health and SA Police to ensure that issues raised by the sector about the current Direction are addressed where possible. People working in the sector with any queries are encouraged to contact DHS’s COVID-19 Response team. You may like to check in for recent updates from the Department on their website in their COVID-19 NGO newsletter


A new Direction under the Emergency Management Act came into place from 12.01am Tuesday 1 December 2020. It identifies the provision of health care, residential care, disability support or aged care services as a defined public activity, because recipients of these types of services are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.  More information on the types of activities covered in this definition is contained in Schedule 2 of the Direction.

People or organisations conducting the public activity are required to develop a COVIDSAfe Plan, undertake contact tracing, and must wear masks under certain circumstances.
In recognition of the significant changes this represents for the cohorts now defined by the Directions as a public activity, SA Police has advised that a period of 72 hours is being provided to give SA Health the opportunity to communicate with the sector, and allow organisations to go online and generate COVID safe plans with associated QR codes. During this time, enforcement action will not be taken, but all businesses must implement the requirements as soon as possible and within the 72-hour grace period, which runs up to 1201 hours, Friday 4 December. More information can be found on the government's SA COVID response page

Handy resources and phone numbers


Wearing a mask

As of yet, mask wearing is not mandatory in public spaces. However, it is mandatory for workers who have to work closely in supporting vulnerable people. The SA Government and SA Health have strongly encouraged all South Australians to wear masks when outside the home.

We are aware that given the sudden changes in South Australia, workers and volunteers in our sectors may not have been able to purchase suitable masks. Measures such as using a scarf, bandana or other item of clothing to cover your face is recommended in these cases.

We note there is a strong possibility mask wearing will become mandatory in any second phase of this circuit breaker.

Services that urgently need access to PPE should contact SA Health for PPE supplies by emailing HealthPSCMSCOCustomerService@sa.gov.au

Updates on NDIS coronavirus supports in South Australia

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, has confirmed NDIS participants in South Australia have access to a range of temporary measures to ensure they can receive their disability-related supports, in line with public health advice.

In addition, with a focus on the safety of NDIS participants during the COVID-19 restrictions period I South Australia, the NDIA is reaching out to connect and check-in with vulnerable participants, to ensure they continue to have supports in place and offering phone or online planning meetings during lockdown.

Temporary measures in place to assist participants in South Australia include

  • Eligible NDIS participants able to use plan funding to purchase low-cost Assistive Technology, including smart devices (up to $1500)
  • Greater plan flexibility to ensure access to supports; deep cleaning of residences in the event a support worker returns a positive COVID-19 test; additional support, including a deep cleaning service, for participants who test positive for COVID-19 or who are required to isolate who live in a Supported Independent Living (SIL) setting
  • NDIS participants in South Australia who rely on face-to-face supports and assistance with their daily living will be able to use an existing support item (Low Cost Disability-Related Health Consumables) to claim on the cost of PPE for their own use at times their worker is with them
  • Providers in South Australia able to claim an allowance of $1.70 per hour of support delivered in the Activities of Daily Life Support Category, to cover the cost of PPE for workers, directly from the NDIA, ensuring participant plan funds are not impacted by the use of PPE by their providers and workers.

More information is available at ndvs.gov.au.

Relief for people without incomes

There are a number of options available to support people who have lost income due to complications caused by the SA COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown. Measure include:

  • A Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment of up to $1,500 available to eligible people who have been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine at home due to a public health direction or a positive COVID-19 test. To check your eligibility and to apply, visit the Services Australia website.
  • The SA COVID-19 Cluster Isolation Payment, a single $300 payment to provide financial support to workers in South Australia who are required to self-isolate because of a public health direction from SA Health and mandatory COVID-19 testing and do not have access to paid leave or other income support. To check your eligibility and apply, visit the SA Gov COVID-19 website.
  • The COVID-18 Relief Call Centre is also available for information and assistance on 1300 705 336. Services include access to personal hardship support and advice on short-term accommodation options if you cannot safely self-quarantine or self-isolate.

Mental health support

If you are in need of mental health support, please contact the SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line. You can call on 1800 632 753 (open 8.00am – 8.00pm every day).

Information for people with intellectual disability

A lot of information about COVID-19 and the SA lockdown is hard to understand, and may make people feel worried because they do not know what they need to do. To support people with intellectual disability, the SA Council on Intellectual Disability has prepared an easy-read document that provides a translation of SA Health and SAPOL COVID-19 information from Thursday 19 November. SA Health has also prepared easy-to-read information and resources on symptoms of COVID, physical distancing, COVID testing, COVID-19 hygiene tips, and how to wear a mask.

Thank you to NGOs providing essential services

We want to express our gratitude for our incredible community sector workforce who are working hard to be here for us during this difficult time. While these people are already #HereForSA every day of the year, we thank them for going above and beyond at this critical time. Thank you for looking after all South Australians in need, and making sure we all stay safe and well while waiting out these restriction

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Self Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines

In South Australia, you will be required to self isolate or quarantine for 14 days if you:

  • have arrived from overseas
  • have arrived from interstate (some exemptions apply)
  • have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 

During these 14 days, you must stay at home or in your hotel room and not leave unless you require urgent medical care.

This currently applies to all travellers (international and Australian), including South Australian citizens.

Non-compliance will result in a maximum penalty of $20,000.

For more information, visit the SA Health COVID-19 advice webpage.