South Australia’s border rules with New South Wales and Greater Brisbane will remain unchanged for now, but authorities say the situation will be reviewed during the week.

Key points:

  • SA’s health chief says she is keen to lift restrictions with Greater Brisbane
  • The matter will be discussed with national authorities tomorrow
  • NSW needs to have 14 days of no community transmission before SA relaxes its border rules

NSW residents are not allowed to enter SA, while people from Greater Brisbane need to quarantine for two weeks.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the state’s Transition Committee had considered the number of cases of the UK coronavirus strain in Queensland before deciding to retain the status quo.

“There’s no changes to our any border arrangements at this stage,” she said.

“We have met as a Transition Committee today and we’ve looked at the epidemiology and the case numbers both in New South Wales and also what is happening up in Queensland, and we have not made any changes.

“[Travellers are] not being stopped coming from Greater Brisbane but will require a 14-day quarantine period coming into our state as well as testing.”

Professor Spurrier said she was “very keen to have that border arrangement lifted” and would raise the matter with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) tomorrow.

But she said the state’s border restrictions with New South Wales were a “completely different situation”, with COVID-19 cases still appearing around Sydney.

“We would be looking for that 14 days of no community transmission [in New South Wales],” she said.

Nicola Spurrier says she hopes SA can open to Brisbane “sooner rather than later”.(ABC News: Michael Clements)

South Australia today recorded no new cases, and has 15 active cases in returned travellers, including two known to have the UK variant.

“We have had four cases of that in our state. Two of those people … are now out of isolation but there are still two in our medi-hotel,” Professor Spurrier said.

“No matter what form of COVID it is, which variant it is, it will still be very significant for us in South Australia if we had any form of community transmission.”

Tennis stars to undergo ‘more stringent testing’

Professor Spurrier today confirmed that tennis stars taking part in a lead-up tournament to the Australian Open would not be staying in any of Adelaide’s existing medi-hotels.

Instead, they will be quarantining in a separate facility.

“But it will be a medi-hotel and they will have, in fact, more stringent testing than anybody else,” Professor Spurrier said.

Adelaide is due to host the event — dubbed A Day At The Drive — at Memorial Drive Tennis Centre on January 29.

Six international tennis stars — Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal — have been confirmed for the one-off exhibition tournament.

Serena Williams in front of empty stands at the French Open.(AP: Alessandra Tarantino)

SA Health will not reveal which hotel they will be staying in, but says it will be run like any other medi-hotel which includes having police and security patrols on duty around the clock.

“They are, because they are elite athletes, able to have training privileges and we did something similar when we had international cricket players [in Adelaide],” Professor Spurrier said.

“It’s not going to be a luxury resort, but hopefully they will find it comfortable.”

Authorities have also confirmed the tennis stars will be escorted to and from training to ensure they do not come into contact with members of the public.

Labor calls for return of Brand SA

South Australia’s Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas today urged the SA Government to bring back tourism organisation Brand SA, and fund a new local brand promotion campaign, to assist the state’s COVID-19 recovery.

Brand SA had been running the “I Choose SA” campaign before its funding was cut in 2019.

“If we can promote local, South Australian-produced goods to South Australians, and that results in a greater take up of those products, it will inject more money into these businesses and that of course means more local jobs,” Mr Malinauskas said.

“It’s a very small investment that can go a very long way.

Restaurant owner Nicole Bugeja said any additional help would be welcome after an “unprecedented” year for the state’s small businesses and producers.

“Anything that can support local businesses, promoting the fact that they are local, is absolutely a positive,” she said.

But Health Minister Stephen Wade said bringing back Brand SA was “not on the table at the moment”.

“Particularly in the context of the pandemic, we’ve seen the strong focus of this Government on maintaining both the economic health and public health of South Australia,” he said.

“We’ll continue to support South Australian businesses to both grow their local business and grow their export business.”