From midnight on 19 November, South Australia was plunged into a six-day ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown. Premier Steven Marshall and Public Health Chief Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier introduced the strict lockdown in order to prevent a second wave of the virus in South Australia, with a cluster of recent cases spurring fears that the state is about to experience a wave similar to Victoria’s.
What is a circuit breaker lockdown?
A circuit breaker lockdown is designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. It involves a very strict set of rules that are in place for a determined period of time. This means that the shutdown period is hopefully less damaging to the economy and people know when to expect the lockdown to end.
What caused the state to go into lockdown?
On 16 November, South Australia recorded 18 new cases of COVID-19, with community transmission being present among the cluster. This spread of the virus has been linked to a cleaner working in a medi-hotel in the Adelaide CBD. The speed of the spread shows just how easily COVID-19 can resurface, with Health Minister Stephen Wade even suggesting that no health protocols were breached. “COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease. Even highly trained health professionals with full PPE in an acute hospital environment have contracted the virus.”
What are the new rules?
As a result of this, some restrictions were introduced in the days following, but as of midnight on 19 November, South Australia was placed into a strict lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
Under the new conditions, cafes, bars, and restaurants have closed across the state, with takeaway services also being stopped. Supermarkets will remain open, but South Australians are only allowed to shop once per day and only one member of the household is permitted to leave. In addition to these measures, the South Australian Government has also made the wearing of masks in public mandatory. For a full list of businesses and services affected by the circuit breaker lockdown, click here.
Travel in and out of South Australia has been shut down as a result of the lockdown, so barring essential workers such as delivery drivers, no one is allowed in or out of the state during the lockdown.