Greater Melbourne travellers to be tested

South Australia has ruled travellers from Greater Melbourne to be COVID-19 tested on days one, five and 12 after a hotel quarantine worker in the Victorian capital contracted the virus.

Under the changes, those people entering SA will need to isolate after their first test until a negative result is received.

Premier Steven Marshall said the news of the Victorian case was “concerning” but clarified the border would remain open.

He advised anyone who had been to the Grand Hyatt Melbourne from January 28 will need to go into hotel quarantine.

People who have been to any of the Melbourne hot spots need to contact SA Health as soon as possible.

Mr Marshall said the state’s Transition Committee would meet again on Friday to look at self isolation requirements and provide a further update, which could see the isolation rule scrapped.

“This is an area of concern and we do need to be alert (but) we don’t need to be alarmed,” he said.

“We certainly have been able to deal very effectively with these type so situations before and I expect that it’s going to continue in the future.”

SA deputy chief public health officer Emily Kirkpatrick said the situation with Melbourne was different to Perth.

She noted the daily saliva testing and frequent nasal testing Victorian medi-hotel staff underwent.

“Based on the information coming across last night and again this morning, we’re very confident that they had moved very quickly to undertake contact tracing and testing, putting close contacts into quarantine and a very long list of locations have been identified,” Dr Kirkpatrick said.

SA Health in the process of contacting up to 8000 people who entered SA from Victoria since January 28.

The state government also announced the Tom‘s Court Hotel on King William St in Adelaide’s CBD would become the dedicated medi-hotel.

Positive COVID-19 cases will be transferred to the facility as of Monday.

It will be staffed by SA Health and SAPOL for nursing and security purposes.

“As we have said before, there is never zero risk of COVID-19 entering South Australia,” Health Minister Stephen Wade said.

“It is crucial we put as many shields as possible between the virus and the community.”

More than 11,000 people have quarantined in one of the state medi-hotels to date.

SA recorded no new coronavirus cases on Thursday.

The 26-year-old hotel quarantine worker in Melbourne was also a resident support officer for the Australian Open quarantine program, according to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

He held a late night press conference on Wednesday, announcing that masks are again mandatory for indoor settings for everyone over the age of 12 and reinforced limits for indoor gatherings.

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