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

In March 2020, the State Coordinator made a Direction under the Emergency Management Act 2004 to limit business activities.

The Emergency Management (Public Activities No 6) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 is the latest direction, and it came into effect on Wednesday 5 August 2020.

For the latest about public activities, visit the South Australian Government's COVID-19 website.

Border closures

Entry to South Australia is prohibited from Victoria, other than by essential travellers.

Travellers from NT, QLD, TAS and WA are able to enter South Australia directly without restriction.

Travellers from ACT and NSW, other than essential travellers, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days after entering SA.

Check the SA Government’s travel restriction page for the up-to-date information about travel in and out of South Australia.

Agricultural industries are essential services

Agriculture is an essential service, however, people who are employed in agriculture or primary industries (e.g. seasonal workers) may 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, specialist workers in essential sectors, or cross-border community members.

All essential travellers are covered under:

  • Transport or freight services.
  • Specialist workers in essential sectors, which includes
    • specialists required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operations in an essential sector where the appropriate skills are not available in South Australia or the low community transmission zone, 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, at or near, the NSW/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.

Essential travellers

Essential travellers fall into a number of categories that allow them to be exempt from some or all quarantine or self-isolation requirements. Definitions and responsibilities of essential travellers are on the SA Government’s COVID-19 Travel restrictions page.

SAPOL have provided a table detailing Essential Traveller requirements for entry into South Australia.

Testing for essential travellers

Cross Border Community Members, Commercial Transport and Freight services, Seasonal workers in essential sectors, and Remote and Isolated Workers from VIC/NSW/ACT must be able to produce, when requested, evidence that they have undertaken a COVID-19 test within the preceding 7 days.


Are Cross Border Community Members, Commercial Transport and Freight services and Remote and Isolated Workers exempt from the requirement to quarantine while awaiting their test results if their test was undertaken in South Australia?

Essential Travellers in categories defined as Commercial Transport and Freight, Remote and Isolated Workers (NSW/ACT only) or Cross Border Community Members do not need to self-quarantine while awaiting COVID-19 test results UNLESS they have symptoms.

What documentation will essential travellers need to carry as proof of their test?

Travellers must carry proof of the test. This can be either the paperwork that says they have had the test (given to them at point of test) or the text message containing the test result.  SAPOL has advised that travellers must be proactive about making sure they have their paperwork and carry it as if it was a licence.

Where can I get tested?

There are a number of testing sites throughout South Australia. A full list of available locations can be found on the SA Health website. We understand that Public information will be issuing a more detailed list of testing sites soon. We will forward to you when available.

What compliance auditing will be conducted on freight trucks at the border?

There is no change to the system currently in place at the border checkpoints. Trucks will continue to be stopped at random when safe to do so.

Will trucks (carrying livestock) be required to queue with general traffic for compliance checks?

There is no change to the system currently in place at the border checkpoints. Trucks will continue to be stopped at random when safe to do so.

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.

Border restrictions

Visit the SA Government’s COVID-19 travel restrictions page to check the current border restrictions.

Arriving from interstate

Before you travel

The Cross Border Travel Registration must be completed on the SAPOL website.

Full details about the Cross Border Travel Registration are available from the SA Government’s COVID-19 travel restrictions page.

Transport and freight operators travelling to South Australia

Transport and Freight operators travelling to South Australia as an existing Essential Traveller will need to complete the online registration process. Applications can be submitted online.

Transport and freight drivers are encouraged to apply as soon as they can to obtain their status under the new system, however largely those drivers operating across borders should feel little, if any change. Once drivers have received their email confirming approval as an essential traveller, presentation of the email advice to police border patrols will streamline the process.

When filling out the online form Transport and Freight Operators need to provide a short description of why they meet the selected criteria, this should include:

  • the name of the company you drive for
  • a description of your vehicle (i.e. B Double)
  • the general route and regularity of your travel
  • a general description of what you transport.

It is critical that sufficient information is provided or the application may require re-submission or not receive the appropriate status. For more information visit and frequently asked questions on the COVID-19 SA website or the SAPOL website.

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.

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.

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. Learn more about the COVID-Safe plan.

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).

COVID Management Plan

A COVID Management Plan, approved by SA Health, will be required for a defined public activity where more than 1000 people are reasonably expected to be present at or participating in the activity

In some cases, your events/business/activity may require both a COVID Management Plan and a COVID-Safe Plan for each vendor. Learn more about COVID Management plans on the SA Government COVID-19 website.

Cellar door and hospitality venues

Food and beverages (including alcohol) must be consumed by patrons while seated at tables that are physically separate form any bar or are where orders are taken.

In relation to cellar doors, this means that no tastings can occur whilst standing.

Page Last Reviewed: 16 Apr 2020
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