Covid-19 Australia: South Australia plunges into lockdown as the state records two new cases 

South Australia will be in lockdown from 6pm tonight after recording a further two new cases of Covid overnight, bringing the total for the state to five.

From 6pm on Tuesday night, the entire state will enter seven days of lockdown with only five reasons for people to leave her homes.  

‘We are dealing with a different highly contagious variant. We have seen this in Victoria. We don’t want this moving across our state as we have seen elsewhere,’ Premier Stephen Marshall said on Tuesday. 

South Australia is dealing with an outbreak of five Covid cases. Pictured: Health workers perform tests at the Covid-19 testing facility in Victoria Park, Adelaide

People will be able to leave their homes for care and compassionate reasons, to exercise, for essential work, to get essential supplies, and for medical reasons. 

‘What we have seen in Victoria is a very rapid movement out of Greater Melbourne. We now worryingly have a case in Mildura,’ Mr Marshall said.

‘This is a disease which is fast moving. Until we have a clearer understanding of how widespread this is we have to take action to keep out state safe.’ 

The state’s chief health officer Dr Nicola Spurrier confirmed that state’s cases were the delta variant of Covid. 

On Monday the state recorded a fourth case of Covid-19 as the state began a round of tough new restrictions and authorities race to contain an outbreak of infections amid a growing list of exposure sites.

The cases now include an 81-year-old man who entered the country from Argentina, his daughter and another two men.

Premier Steven Marshall told Adelaide radio 5AA ahead of an official briefing on Tuesday the fourth case identified overnight was a man who’s a close contact of the elderly man and was already in quarantine.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall (pictured) announced a seven day lockdown in his state from 6pm Tuesday

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall (pictured) announced a seven day lockdown in his state from 6pm Tuesday 

Mr Marshall also said more testing sites would open in Adelaide on Thursday amid long queues at testing facilities on Monday and early Tuesday.

The outbreak has plunged thousands of people into quarantine with the list of more than a dozen exposure sites including at least four major shopping centres in Adelaide’s north and northeastern suburbs.

‘We only have one chance to get this right. Our focus from day one has been to go hard and to go early to minimise the level of disruption,’ Mr Marshall said on Monday.

‘We’ve got to respond quickly.’

Late on Monday, multiple new exposure sites linked to a person with COVID-19 were revealed, including a Coles supermarket at the Greenacres Shopping Centre in Adelaide’s northeast and a number of retail shops and a TAB at Munno Para in the north.

The new restrictions in SA include a density change to one person to every four square metres in all venues, while all team and contact sport has been cancelled.

All dining will need to be seated with a ban imposed on dancing and singing.

Masks must be used in all indoor public areas, including shopping malls and also on public transport and in high-risk settings.

Fitness centres are closed along with other non-essential retail outlets.

Supermarkets and pharmacies and other essential businesses will continue to trade.

Family gatherings, including weddings and funerals, will be restricted to 10 people but schools will stay open.

The new rules will be reviewed on Friday.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said while SA was not moving to a full lockdown, the restrictions were significant.

‘The intent here is to dramatically suppress all discretionary activity in the community,’ he said on Monday.

The elderly man had returned to Australia via NSW, where he spent 14 days in quarantine.

He returned to SA on July 8 and presented to a suburban hospital over the weekend after developing symptoms and was later admitted.

Adelaide’s other positive cases have been transferred to the Tom’s Court Hotel which is used to quarantine all those with an active infection.

‘We don’t draw any conclusions as to where this infection came from. We simply don’t know and it is very early days,’ Mr Marshall said on Monday.

‘Our primary concern at the moment is putting everyone who may have come into contact with this person into quarantine as soon as possible.’

Business SA Chief Executive Martin Haese said the new restrictions were another blow to the already struggling hospitality, events, tourism and retail sectors.

‘We hope there will be no extension to the restrictions beyond Friday.’

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