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SA leaves virus rules in place

South Australia has left current border arrangements and local COVID-19 restrictions in place despite concerns over the new Omicron variant of the virus.

The state’s transition committee met on Tuesday and decided against any changes, which leaves SA open to vaccinated travellers from all states, with some requirements for testing and quarantine.

International arrives are being required to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of where they come from.

Local restrictions, such as mandatory mask-wearing on public transport and in most venues, will also remain.

“It’s too early to actually make any determination about the impact of this particular strain of the virus,” Police Commissioner Grant Stevens told reporters.

“I’m hopeful we can hold our position, so people can continue to travel.

“But as we’ve said right through the course of the pandemic, be flexible with your travel plans so you don’t get caught on the hop.”

Premier Steven Marshall said SA would take whatever action was necessary to protect people from the Omicron variant.

“We’re learning more about the new variant every hour,” Mr Marshall said on Monday.

“We’ll have to take whatever action is necessary based upon medical advice, but it’s still very early days.

“Obviously we’ve got to be nimble. We’ve got to make sure we respond to the threat as that threat morphs and changes.”

In response to the Omicron variant, Australia has shut its borders to nine southern African countries, while NSW, Victoria, SA and the ACT have brought in new rules for all international arrivals.

National Cabinet will meet on Tuesday to consider further action.

Genomic testing has confirmed the variant has been detected in people who recently arrived in Sydney and Darwin.

SA reported three new coronavirus cases on Saturday, no infections on Sunday and one new case on Monday.

The state’s seven active infections are all in isolation but have prompted about 40 potential exposure sites, including a number of flights from Sydney and Melbourne, supermarkets, shopping centres and hotels in Adelaide and the Adelaide casino.

Mr Marshall said SA had still not recorded any community transmission of the virus since dropping most border measures.

“There is an inevitability about cases in South Australia but what we want to do is to get to those cases as early as possible,” he said.

“So that we’re minimising the number of people who need to have testing or potentially go into isolation.”

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