An updated Direction has been issued to clarify restrictions and exemptions which impact residents and Residential Aged Care Facilities.
On 27 March 2020, the State Coordinator made a Direction under the Emergency Management Act 2004 to limit entry into residential aged care facilities.
The Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 has been revoked and replaced by the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 2) (COVID-19) Direction 2020, this new Direction comes into effect on 10 April 2020 at 0001hrs.
The new Direction states that a resident of an aged care facility who leaves the premises of the aged care facility is prohibited from re-entering those premises.
This does not apply to:
– A resident who leaves the premises of a residential aged care facility for medical or dental treatment of the resident or to attend the funeral of a member of the resident’s immediate family
– A resident who has dementia or another cognitive impairment (such that the resident does not understand this direction or the consequences of leaving) and inadvertently leaves the premises of a residential aged care facility
– A resident who has no safe alternative accommodation.
New visitation restrictions have also been added under the new Direction. These new restrictions state that a person is prohibited from entering, or remaining on, the premises of a residential aged care facility in the State of South Australia unless:
– The person’s presence at the premises is required for the purposes of regulatory functions or duties, including inspections
– The person is a legal practitioner and their presence at the premises is for the purposes of the provision of legal advice or services.
For example: A legal practitioner entering the premises of a residential aged care facility to take instructions from a client who is a resident of the facility or for the purposes of the execution of a will or other testamentary instrument by a client who is a resident of the facility.
A person must not enter or remain on the premises of a residential aged care facility in South Australia if:
– During the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person arrived in South Australia from a place outside South Australia
– During the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, or the person has a temperature higher than 38 degrees celsius or symptoms of acute respiratory infection
– From 1 May 2020 the person has not been vaccinated against 2020 seasonal influenza
– The person is aged under 16 years, other than in circumstances where the person’s presence at the premises is for the purposes of end of life support for a resident of the residential aged care facility.
Additionally, under the new Direction, prospective residents of an aged care facility can no longer inspect the premises.
An operator of a residential aged care facility in the State of South Australia must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain on the premises of the residential aged care facility if the person is prohibited from doing so.
It is an offence to breach this direction.
Members of the public are urged to read the direction in full, which can be found here.
If you require further information you can call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787 between the hours of 8am to 8pm seven days a week or go to the SA Health website at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au or www.sa.gov.au/covid-19