New rules, testing for medi-hotel staff

New directions have come into force overnight for South Australia’s medi-hotel workers, formalising nationally mandated daily saliva testing and work requirements for the state’s frontline quarantine workers.

Feb 17, 2021, updated Feb 17, 2021
The Tom's Court quarantine facility for COVID positive patients (Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily)

The Tom's Court quarantine facility for COVID positive patients (Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily)

The updated Supervised Quarantine Direction prohibits all “people who work, are employed or engaged at a medi-hotel site” from working in another high-risk setting for 14 days after working at a quarantine faculty.

Any quarantine worker employed at another high-risk setting, namely residential aged care and correctional services, also has to inform their employer that they work at a medi-hotel.

The direction also formalises daily saliva testing for all quarantine workers, which rolled out in SA last week after national cabinet agreed to the measure in early January.

The saliva tests are in addition to weekly PCR testing requirements for SA medi-hotel workers, which has been in place since December.

Premier Steven Marshall indicated earlier this month that the current testing regime will expand on February 22 to all workers on the quarantine “pathway” from Adelaide Airport to the state’s medi-hotels.

A new direction on QR codes also came into force overnight, with businesses and events that have paper sign-in sheets now required to keep copies of the written information “safe and secure and away from the general public” as to “ensure that details are not copied, photographed or used” by someone other than an authorised officer.

If police choose to prosecute an incident of QR code information misuse, individuals could face fines of up to $25,000 and businesses $75,000

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the new fines are in place to ensure community expectations are met regarding safe storage of confidential information.

“It is simply providing a mechanism where we can make sure people are doing the right thing with this information,” Stevens said yesterday.

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“We do recognise that we do have information out there in the community that people expect to be kept private.

“We need to be doing our bit to make sure that people understand their obligations and abide by those obligations.”

Nearly 50,000 businesses across the state have signed up for the QR code system since it was introduced in December 2020, according to the police commissioner.

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