As of 3 January 2022, SA Health has changed the definition of what it means to be a close contact, and therefore who needs to be tested and isolate.
It's fair to say that recent changes to the definition of COVID-19 close contacts have been confusing - particularly with South Australia adopting its own approach, separate to that agreed by National Cabinet.
We have sought confirmation from the Premier's office, which has advised that the following definition from SA Health is now in effect:
In South Australia ‘close contacts’ are:
- household and household-like contacts and intimate partners
- those who have been in a setting where there has been significant transmission of COVID-19 (and there has been greater than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact)
- those in high-risk communities/settings/workplaces where someone has tested positive to COVID-19 (and there has been greater than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact).
Most close contacts will receive an SMS from SA Health. However, if you know you are a close contact, please do not wait for the SMS – get tested and isolate immediately.
If someone you have been in close contact with someone who tells you they have tested positive to COVID-19, you must follow the advice below.
Unvaccinated and vaccinated close contacts must:
- immediately quarantine for 7 days since they had contact with a COVID-19 positive person or were at the exposure location
- get an initial PCR test
- get a PCR test again on day 6 if the initial test is negative (a negative day 6 PCR test is required to be released from quarantine)
- get a PCR test again immediately if symptoms develop (be mindful of symptoms for up to 14 days)
- not attend high risk settings or COVID Management Plan events for 14 days after exposure
- wear a surgical mask when around others
- avoid contact with vulnerable people, avoid non-essential activities where possible and avoid shared spaces and maintain physical distancing on days 8 to 14 after exposure.
- not attend an Emergency Department, unless it is an emergency.
In an emergency or if you have symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, call Triple Zero (000).
While this may mean fewer people are formally defined as close contacts, it does not change health advice that those with symptoms should immediately isolate and get tested.
Members are also encouraged to follow health advice including the use of mandatory wearing masks in indoor public spaces, QR check-ins in public spaces, as well as practicing hand hygiene and social distancing.
If you have any questions about the updated close contact definitions, please contact MTA Industry and Government Engagement Manager, Kaes Cillessen on 8291 2000.