With updated South Australian border requirements applying from today, South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) have expressed some frustration around the latest Covid-19 advice from the SA Health on Monday.
All travellers arriving in South Australia will be required to register through the new EntryCheck SA platform. Any requirement to quarantine will not apply for Essential Travellers, but they will not be able to enter high risk settings or Covid-19 Management Plan Events for 14 days. Any requirement to test prior to or upon arrival will be satisfied if evidence of a test within seven days can be produced.
SARTA executive officer Steve Shearer believes that whilst the actual arrangement and conditions are good, the application process for essential travellers still needs some work.
“A simple explanation is dangerous, because it can be misleading,” said Shearer.
“The single biggest thing truck drivers need to understand is that they can use their current permit until it expires, but in using their current permit they have to comply with the conditions against the four risk categories – depending on where you’re coming from.”
All existing Essential Traveller Approvals will be honoured until they expire and at that time travellers will be required to make an application to enter South Australia using EntryCheck SA. Essential Traveller approvals issued by EntryCheck SA will be for three months.
“The new entry application process tells you what category you’re in, but if you don’t apply in the new scheme, it won’t tell you because haven’t already applied,” explains Shearer.
“So, if you’re using your current permit until it runs out then they still need to check the risk category from where they’re coming from and comply with those conditions.”
If drivers apply using the new entry check process, the permit they will be given is for one entry only and will be supplied an email confirming that trip. The same email provides a link where drivers can apply for an exemption.
“Most truckies who’ve been handed a permit with no restrictions on it and haven’t noticed that it isn’t for one trip, won’t think about applying for an exemption to get a three-month permit,” added Shearer.
“The essential traveller advice has been changed, so as a result it’s been buried away unintentionally, which is frustrating.”
Other issues raised by Essential Travellers when applying via the new EntryCheck SA platform is rejection for those applying without a fixed address or requiring a MySAGov account before they can make the first step.
SARTA has raised their concerns with the SA government and have pushed for changes to help Essential Travellers to apply to obtain a three month approval.
Further information can be found at here.