Changing SA quarantine rules for Omicron close contacts criticised

Some residents in Adelaide are not pleased with the changing quarantine arrangements as state health officials fear a possible emergence of Omicron cases.

Bakery on O'Connell in North Adelaide is the latest exposure site believed to have been visited by a suspected Omicron case.

Under new rules, any and all close contacts of the new variant of concern are required to quarantine for two weeks irrespective of their vaccination status.

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South Australia recorded seven new COVID-19 cases today.

"I think it's overkill and with Christmas only a few weeks away I think it will destroy Christmas for a lot of people," a local said.

For other variants of COVID-19, vaccinated South Australians are only required to quarantine for seven days.

"We've been encouraged to get vaccinated and now we've been put back in the same class as [the] unvaccinated," another local said.

One Adelaide resident said the rules can't keep changing.

"We're always going to get new variants coming out and we can't keep changing the goalposts every time."

Premier Steven Marshall has defended the quarantine rules, saying it was based on advice provided to the government by medical experts.

"The issue is at the AHPPC [Australian Health Protection Principal Committee]. There was a general discussion about the early days of Omicron. The recommendation for us is we need to be super careful especially in the lead up to Christmas," Mr Marshall said.

But only around 24 hours into the introduction of the new quarantine rule, the Premier might be changing it again.

South Australia Premier Steven Marshall updates the media.

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"We hope that we can reduce that [14-day quarantine] down in the coming days, but at this point in time we are being cautious. We don't want a big Omicron outbreak in South Australia," Mr Marshall said.

Ian Horne from the Australian Hotels Association South Australia (AHASA) said the changing rules is sending mixed messages.

"That sends a message to interstate visitors, domestic travellers [to] be weary. Don't even come to South Australia. We've become a difficult destination, an unreliable destination," Mr Horne said.

It comes as South Australia recorded seven new COVID-19 cases, three of which have unidentified sources of infection.

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