Restrictions on businesses and activities during COVID-19

Find out how border closures and business restrictions affect your agriculture, food and wine business.

Essential and non-essential businesses

Restrictions are in place for non-essential businesses in South Australia.

The current restrictions do not apply to primary industries, including commercial fisheries and aquaculture sector and the food supply chain. These businesses are an essential service and can continue to operate but must follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

See section 3 of the State Coordinator's non-essential businesses and other gatherings closure document on the state government's Emergency Declarations and Directives page.

Border closures

A direction was issued by the State Coordinator on travel into South Australia. As of 4 pm, 24 March 2020, our state's borders are closed.

Agricultural industries are essential services

Agriculture is an essential service, however, people who are employed in agriculture or primary industries (e.g. seasonal workers) will need to self-quarantine on arrival in South Australia for 14 days unless they meet the other requirements of essential travel, such as transport or freight services, skills critical to maintaining industries or businesses, or cross-border community members.

All essential travellers are covered under:

  • Transport or freight services
  • Skills critical to maintaining key industries or business, which includes
    • specialists required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operations where the appropriate skills are not available in South Australia, where the service is time critical and where the provision of the service requires that the person be physically present in South Australia
    • persons who, in the conduct of their duties, are responsible for maintenance or repair of infrastructure critical to South Australia and are required to be physically present in SA for such purposes
    • persons who primarily reside or work in South Australia and travel for work purposes for regular periods according to established work schedules
  • Or cross border community members – persons who are ordinarily resident, or near, a South Australian border and who, in the ordinary course of their occupation, education or daily life, have reasonable cause to travel across that border

See the SA Government website for a full description of the restrictions.

Exemptions for essential travellers

Essential travellers and services are exempt from the border closures. There is no application or permits for exemptions. It is a self-assessment process. If you enter South Australia you may be stopped by police at checkpoints. If you're an essential traveller you will need to show evidence of this. If no evidence is provided, you will be directed to self-quarantine.

Agriculture is an essential service, however, people who are employed in agriculture or primary industries (e.g. seasonal workers) will need to self-quarantine on arrival in South Australia for 14 days unless they meet the other requirements of essential travel, such as transport or freight services, skills critical to maintaining industries or businesses, or cross-border community members.

For more details on the definition of an ‘essential traveller’ please see the direction issued by the State Controller, Commissioner Grant Stevens

Some essential travellers must now keep records of close contact for a 14 day period commencing on the date of arrival in South Australia.

Travelling across a pastoral lease and COVID-19

Travelling across a pastoral lease and COVID-19 With the exception of Public Access Routes, access to any station tracks on a pastoral lease requires the prior approval of the lessee. Do not enter a lease without prior permission. For the latest information visit PIRSA's COVID-19 page.

Air travel

There are travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. See Australian Government's Health website for information about what travel is allowed, and what you must do if you've recently travelled.


Ports are open and operating under a number of restrictions. Read the marine information fact sheet to know more.

Business closures and restrictions

Business closures and restrictions depend on how essential the service is. Changes will continue to be made as the situation is monitored.

Supermarkets and produce markets

Can remain open. They are an essential service and can continue to operate until the situation or restrictions change.

This includes the Adelaide Central Markets and the Adelaide Produce Markets at Pooraka.

Social distancing must be practiced (keeping 1.5 meters away from people around you).

Farmer's markets

Farmer’s markets can continue to operate but must follow strict density requirements, social distancing principles and hygiene guidelines. Information on cleaning and disinfection in the workplace is available at SA Health.

You should check with individual farmer’s markets to find out if they are still operating, as some are currently closed.

Onsite purchase and consumption of food or beverages

Food and drinks (including alcoholic drinks) can be consumed by patrons while seated at tables that are physically separate from each other. This could be in a restaurant, café, pub or cellar door.

However, in such venues, none of the following may be used:

  • communal food or drink services (buffets, salad bars, drink dispensers)
  • gaming areas or gambling facilities
  • shared equipment (pool tables, darts, game consoles)
  • reusable equipment (shisha, hookah, smoking or vaping).

For more information about events, activities and gatherings check the SA Government COVID site.

Trading – exports and sales

Exporting product from the state

Essential travel which maintains health, the food supply chain and the state’s economic needs is allowed across our state's border.

Ports, airports and roads will maintain some freight movement. For companies exporting to markets around the world, business is being affected due to COVID-19 in each location.

Department for Trade and Investment has information for exporters and companies.

Attending saleyards, including from interstate

The Australian Chief Veterinary Officer has stated that saleyards can go ahead.

If you attend livestock auctions you must follow strict social distancing guidelines and keep at least 1.5 metres from those around you.

Travel needs fall under the ‘essential travellers’ and no application for exemption is required.

Transporting workers in the same vehicle

You can transport workers in the same vehicle because primary industries are an essential service and need to continue to be operational.

You must maintain the social distancing requirement of at least 1.5 meters between people. For example, 2 people in a sedan will meet the requirement.

Make sure fresh air is circulated in the vehicle for the duration of the journey.

Clean the inside of vehicles regularly and disinfect surfaces. Paying particular attention to frequently touched surfaces. Information on cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19 is available from the Department of Health.

Also practice good hand hygiene by regularly washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser.

This information may change frequently so for the most up-to-date information always check

Planning for reopening

Business responsibilities: COVID-Safe Plan

Businesses that were previously directed to close must complete a COVID-Safe Plan before they can reopen. This Plan will outline how your staff and patrons can be kept safe from COVID-19. The plan must be completed and made available at your business premises by Monday 1 June 2020. If your business was allowed to reopen during Step 1 of South Australia’s Roadmap to Recovery, you must also complete a Plan before 1 June. Failing to do so may result in a fine of up to $5,000. Complete the COVID-Safe Plan online.

To assist in completing the COVID-Safe Plan the government has also published some frequently asked questions, and an online calculator to help determine the maximum number of people per room (scroll to 'Need Help?' section for the working calculator).

Page Last Reviewed: 16 Apr 2020
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