South Australian Premier Steven Marshall says he’s hopeful that extended quarantine for close contacts of COVID-19 Omicron cases can be removed soon.
SA has at least two confirmed cases of the variant and its arrival last week prompted the state government to increase isolation requirements for close contacts at exposure sites from seven to 14 days.
But Mr Marshall said as more information about the strain emerged, it was hoped the extra requirements could be removed.
“We are taking a prudent approach because we do not want a massive Omicron outbreak in the lead-up to Christmas,” he said.
“But I’m hopeful we’ll have some good news for those people who are in 14 days quarantine and who are fully vaccinated later this week.”
The quarantine change will be considered at Tuesday’s meeting of the state’s transition committee.
Mr Marshall said he understood 13 COVID-19 cases were reported in SA on Monday. The majority were believed to be the Delta variant.
That will take SA’s number of active infections to above 70, while a growing number of exposure sites has forced more than 2000 people into isolation.
Mr Marshall said he understood that those in isolation were making a “sacrifice” to ensure the majority of South Australians could experience a relatively normal Christmas.
“We appreciate that sacrifice,” he said.
However, he said far fewer people were being required to quarantine now SA had moved away from the “elimination phase” to the “suppression phase” in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.