Sat. May 28th, 2022

Changes to the test rules for arrivals between countries have been introduced in South Australia to slow down the spread of Omicron variant, when the state registered three more locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

People traveling to the state from New South Wales, Victoria and ACT must now have a PCR test on arrival and isolate themselves until a negative result is received.

Travelers must also, if staying in South Australia, have an additional test on day six.

South Australia will not close its border with NSW, Victoria and ACT, but has introduced new test rules. (Nine)

These “speed bumps” take effect immediately.

“There will be no immediate change in our state borders in southern Australia, but we remain extraordinarily concerned about the Omicron threat,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

International arrivals must now also be quarantined for 14 days instead of seven days.

South Australia registered five more COVID-19 cases on Saturday, three of which were acquired locally. The remaining two were interstate travelers.

The three societal infections are all close contacts from previous cases.

Marshall did not rule out future border closures, saying authorities would not “take any option off the table”.

“If we’re going to have to close the border, I’m going to do it.”

Marshall added that the Omicron variant is a “game changer” for the state.

“But the game-changer for us in South Australia now is Omicron, and we need to make sure we handle this in a prudent and well-considered way to keep our state safe in the future,” he said.

ACT has also registered its first Omicron case.

South Australia registered four new COVID-19 cases yesterday, including a mysterious case.

Of the other new cases, two are interstate travelers, while the other attended the school gathering in connection with Norwood cluster, which is now on 19 cases.
South Australia has introduced new test rules for interstate arrivals from NSW, Victoria and ACT.
South Australia has introduced new test rules for interstate arrivals from NSW, Victoria and ACT. (9 news)

Professor Sanjaya Senayake warned earlier this morning against states slamming borders to stop the spread of the Omicron variant.

He said there was no reason for states to close borders because Australia’s high vaccination rates are so high.

“There’s no need to necessarily close borders in our heavily vaccinated population, but as you know, it’s obviously arbitrary, and states and territories sometimes do their own thing,” Professor Senayake said.

Professor Senayake added that border closures should depend on the behavior of the variant, but at present little is known about the spread and transmission of Omicron.

“It will depend on the behavior of this virus as we learn more about it as we investigate cases and clusters on the African continent and around the world,” he said.

Professor Senayake said Omicron could overtake Delta to become the dominant tribe.
Professor Senayake said Omicron could overtake Delta to become the dominant tribe. (9 news)

The Omicron variant may soon become the dominant strain worldwide, Professor Senayake said.

“If you look at what’s going on in South Africa, it has overtaken the Delta, which we all thought and knew to be a pretty contagious tribe,” he said.

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“I can say for sure, but it is very likely that what we see in South Africa happening in the rest of the world is very likely and not surprising as the virus develops.”

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