South Australian health authorities will relax coronavirus restrictions to allow travellers from regional New South Wales back into the state, but will keep quarantine requirements in place for arrivals from Greater Brisbane for the time being.

Key points:

  • Travellers from regional New South Wales will be allowed to enter SA from 12:01am Thursday
  • They will still be subject to COVID-19 tests on day one, five and 12
  • SA’s border rules remain in place for people from Greater Sydney and Greater Brisbane

Premier Steven Marshall said that from 12:01am, NSW travellers from outside high community transmission zones in Greater Sydney, Wollongong, the Central Coast and Blue Mountains will be able to enter SA.

Currently, NSW residents outside a buffer zone which includes Broken Hill and Wentworth are banned from entering, after a hard border was imposed a fortnight ago.

Regional and rural arrivals will still need to be tested on days one, five and 12, but will not have to quarantine once changes come into effect tonight.

“We have not wanted to keep restrictions in place for one day longer than we need to,” Mr Marshall.

“As of one minute past midnight, we will be opening up for people coming in from regional NSW, so outside of the high community transmission zones of Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast and the Blue Mountains.”

But the Premier said SA’s requirement for arrivals from Greater Brisbane to quarantine for two weeks would remain in place for now.

“I know people had been hoping we could do that yesterday or today but we’re not in a position at the moment.”

Two travellers test positive

South Australia today recorded two new coronavirus cases — both of them men aged in their 30s.

The two individuals are unrelated and recently returned from overseas.

They are currently in a medi-hotel, and returned positive results on day one and day five tests respectively.

Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said it was too early to say whether the two cases belonged to the highly contagious UK strain.

She said a decision was still being made on whether arrivals from rural NSW who had entered SA before the hard border was imposed would need to remain in quarantine.

“We will still require people to be tested coming in,” Professor Spurrier said.

“We’re just reviewing people who are currently in quarantine who have come from rural NSW and we will make that a little clearer later this afternoon.”

Professor Nicola Spurrier said SA’s two new cases are both returned travellers.(ABC News)

Professor Spurrier said authorities were also monitoring the situation in Queensland, where an urgent incident response is underway after genomic testing discovered six previously identified COVID-19 cases were linked.

All six cases stayed on the same floor of the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane, where one of the hotel’s cleaners tested positive for the UK strain on January 7.

“Those people [would] need to go into quarantine.

“We are still trying to get to the bottom of what’s happened in that particular hotel. It is very reminiscent of what happened here in South Australia with [the Parafield cluster].”