International Flights into Adelaide Have Been Suspended

The temporary ban comes as South Australia imposes new restrictions after 18 community cases of Covid-19 were found.

Adelaide’s city center as seen from across the River Torrens. (Photo: ymgerman/iStock)

Authorities in Adelaide are scrambling to get on top of a growing coronavirus outbreak after South Australia’s first known incidence of community transmission since April was reported on Sunday. A cleaner working at a quarantine hotel in Adelaide’s northern suburbs is believed to have caught Covid-19 from a hard surface, before passing the highly contagious disease to two security guards at the property and 15 members from the same family group, including two people working at an aged care home. To date, contact tracers have found a single cluster of 18 infections.

Sweeping new coronavirus restrictions took effect across South Australia at 11:59 p.m. last night. While schools are still open, gyms and recreational facilities have been closed and will likely remain so for the next two weeks. The number of patrons at restaurants, pubs, and clubs is capped at 100, with churches also required to stick to the same rule; funerals can only have a maximum of 50 people in attendance. All the aforementioned venues will have to observe a rule of one person per four square meters. Meanwhile, gatherings in homes are being limited to 10 people. The South Australian government has also stopped all incoming international flights until the end of this week to ease the burden on hotel quarantine facilities.

News of the fresh outbreak in South Australia’s capital has triggered an immediate response in other states. Within 24 hours, Western Australia reimposed its hard border measures, barring all arrivals from South Australia except under “strict exemptions”, while those who have entered Queensland from Adelaide since the previous Monday must now be tested and go into 14 days of hotel quarantine. Similar entry restrictions are in place in the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Neighboring Victoria, which has now gone 18 days without any new cases, is still open to South Australia residents, who will have to undergo extra screening and may be subject to rapid Covid-19 tests. The sudden resurgence of the virus in Adelaide throws Canberra’s plan to reopen almost all internal borders by Christmas into doubt.

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