News Coronavirus SA dumps some testing rules as cases rise

SA dumps some testing rules as cases rise

SA reported 3482 new infections on Wednesday, below its seven-day average. Photo: AAP
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South Australia has dumped COVID-19 testing on arrival requirements for people travelling from interstate after a blowout in wait times at testing centres.

Some people have been forced to wait for up to eight hours to be tested in Adelaide amid rising virus infections.

Premier Steven Marshall says people travelling to SA from NSW, Victoria and the ACT will no longer be required to have a swab on arrival unless they have symptoms.

However, they must still have a negative test within 72 hours of departure.

The change comes after a surge in daily testing numbers which topped 20,000 for the first time on Sunday.

“Our focus now is making sure South Australians have access to a rapid PCR test,” Mr Marshall said on Tuesday.

The premier also apologised for the long wait times as he thanked everyone who lined up for a test.

“We thank those people for their patience and we also apologise for the lengthy delays,” he said.

“We know that the lines have been very frustrating for people.”

But the South Australian Opposition said it was clear the government had failed to provide adequate testing and contact tracing resources ahead of opening the state’s borders last month.

Opposition Health spokesman Chris Picton said there had been long delays in exposure sites being listed on the SA Health website.

Only six new sites were added on Monday, the first update since Saturday.

“It is less than a month after borders opened and it is clear there simply are not enough contact tracers or testing capacity to keep up,” Mr Picton said.

“We have consistently seen delays of a week or more in the identification of exposure sites.

“This speaks to a lack of resources from the government who are still trying to find staff to work in contact tracing despite the assurances made.”