Coronavirus in South Australia: Financial help and advice

Find information on South Australia's stimulus package, border closures, school and business shutdowns and more.

Updated

warningWe’re working hard to provide the latest information on government announcements, stimulus packages and support for Australians across the country. However, the situation is developing constantly, so always check your local state’s government website for more details.

South Australian coronavirus help and contact information

This page contains information about coronavirus in South Australia (SA). We're updating it with the latest government announcements, stimulus packages and financial support for SA residents and businesses struggling because of COVID-19.

  • South Australia has set up a dedicated COVID-19 hotline: 1800 253 787.
  • The South Australian government website has a dedicated COVID-19 page with essential information, updates and additional resources.

South Australian stimulus packages, financial support and relief

On 26 March 2020, the South Australian government announced that its economic response to coronavirus was worth $1 billion. This included financial stimulus packages announced between 12 and 26 March 2020.

"We know South Australians are hurting," premier Steven Marshall said in a statement.

"In the space of a few weeks, in some cases overnight, once thriving local businesses and their staff are now facing uncertain futures through no fault of their own and my government is stepping up to make sure we see them through this period."

We've summarised key details of the package below.

Individuals and families

  • One-off $500 JobSeeker Payment. People receiving support through Centrelink's JobSeeker plan will receive a one-off $500 payment from the South Australian government. This is in addition to any federal government support that these people may be eligible for.
  • Cost of Living Concessions. Households where a person is receiving JobSeeker Payments will also have the state's Cost of Living Concessions for 2020/21 brought forward. For eligible homeowners, this payment will be $715.10 (up from $215.10). For eligible tenants, the payment will be $607.60.
  • Access to accrued annual leave (public sector workers). People working in the public sector will be able to have their accrued annual leave paid out if a family member loses their job and goes onto Commonwealth benefits. They will be eligible as long as they keep two weeks of leave (annual and long service).

Other coronavirus financial support options

Property owner support

  • Deferred land tax payments. From July, individuals and businesses with outstanding quarterly bills will be able to defer payments for up to six months.
  • Land Tax Transition Fund. This fund was established after changes to land taxes were approved by the state government in 2019. Following the coronavirus pandemic, the government has said that for the 2020/21 financial year, relief will be increased from 50% to 100% based on existing relief criteria guidelines. This is expected to save some investors up to $50,000. You can learn more about the land tax changes on the RevenueSA website.

Community support

  • Community and Jobs Fund. This $250 million fund will help support non-profit and community organisations, as well as arts, sporting and recreational bodies and other industry sectors directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. It will also help support people who are seeking training and jobs, as well as organisations that offer emergency relief and other support to individuals in need.

Business support

  • Payroll tax relief (grouped annual payroll under $4 million). Businesses with a grouped annual payroll under $4 million will get a 6-month waiver on payroll taxes, effective from April to September 2020.
  • Payroll tax relief (grouped annual payroll over $4 million). Businesses that have a grouped annual payroll of more than $4 million can apply to defer payroll tax payments for up to 6 months. These businesses must be able to show that coronavirus has had a significant impact on their cash flow.
  • Waived liquor licence fees. Hotels, restaurants, cafes and clubs that were forced to close because of the social distancing restrictions will have their liquor licence fees waived for the 2020/21 financial year.
  • $300 million Business Jobs Support Fund. The SA government has established this fund to help support businesses and industry sectors directly affected by coronavirus so that they can avoid potential collapse.
  • $5.2 million taxi industry support package. The package includes a payment of $4,300 per metropolitan taxi in addition to the waiving of their operator and vehicle accreditation fees for one full year.
  • Emergency cash grants: Small businesses and not-for-profit entities that employ South Australians can apply for a $10,000 emergency cash grant to support the operation of their business. Eligibility includes having an annual turnover of more than $75,000 (excluding GST) and an annual payroll of less than $1.5 million. The business must also not be entitles to the payroll tax waiver support measures (see above). Applications will open shortly and will close on 1 June 2020.

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Current advice on school and business closures and other restrictions

School closures

While schools technically remain open, the South Australian Department for Education made the last four days of term 1 pupil-free days (from 6 to 9 April 2020). During these days, teachers will prepare online resources so that children can learn at home.

"For those parents and carers who are able to keep their children at home, well supervised and in an environment of learning, we support this," South Australian education minister John Gardner said in a statement. Educational resources are available through the Our Learning SA website, which will be updated with more content as it is developed.

All schools within the Barossa Valley area have been closed until further notice.

Closure of non-essential businesses

On 29 March 2020, the federal government announced the following updated restrictions:

  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to 2 people. Exceptions include people living in the same household, family units, weddings (maximum 5 people) and funerals (maximum 10 people)
  • Playgrounds, skate parks and outside gyms are closed
  • Fitness bootcamps are limited to 2 people (including the instructor)
  • People are advised to stay indoors unless they are exercising, shopping for essentials, going to a medical appointment or going to work

The federal government previously announced the closure of the following types of businesses:

  • Hotels, pubs, casinos, clubs and other registered and licensed venues
  • Cinemas and other entertainment venues
  • Gyms, indoor sports venues and swimming pools
  • Auctions and open house inspections
  • Galleries, museums and libraries
  • Amusement parks, arcades and play centres
  • Outdoor and indoor markets, with some individual states and territories able to make decisions around major food markets that may be considered as providing "essential services"
  • Beauty therapy, tanning salons, spas, massage parlours and tattoo parlours

The following types of businesses are able to trade with some restrictions:

  • Restaurants, cafes and food courts. These businesses can only offer delivery or takeaway services.
  • Weddings. Restricted to five people: the couple getting married, the celebrant and two witnesses.
  • Funerals. Restricted to 10 people.
  • Bootcamps and personal training. Restricted to 2 people and must observe social distancing measures.

South Australia's government has also updated the following restrictions as of 31 March 2020:

  • All non-emergency surgery is no longer allowed to be performed in South Australia in order to increase capacity for COVID-19 patients.
  • All cellar doors and wineries across South Australia will be closed from 30 March 2020 and the sampling of food or drinks will be prohibited for commercial purposes.
  • Gatherings of 10 people or less are allowed although no more than 2 is encouraged.

Current travel restrictions

Following federal guidelines, from 29 March, any non-essential traveller arriving in South Australia as their first port of landing will need to be quarantined for 14 days at appointed hotels.

The requirements for testing of COVID-19 have also been extended to include interstate travel risks.

A statement from the Premier noted that there could be exemptions for essential travel, such as:

  • Transport of health and medical supplies
  • Transport of health workers and patients
  • Food and commercial supply chains
  • Travel of a relative or carer of a dependent individual
  • Emergency services
  • Fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workers who already had approved disease control mechanisms in place

The South Australian police department (SAPOL) is also conducting random checks to make sure people are self-isolating during any required 14-day period.

Movement into certain remote areas across SA has also been restricted since 27 March. Anyone who wishes to enter any of the below designated communities must self-isolate for 14 days before doing so, including residents of those communities. Restrictions now apply to areas on which the following communities are located:

  • Davenport
  • Dunjiba
  • Gerard
  • Point Pearce
  • Yalata
  • Nepabunna (excluding Iga Wata)
  • Yarilena

Movement into Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara and Maralinga Tjarutja will also be restricted.

Outbound travel

A ban has been placed on all non-essential international travel, effective from 25 March 2020.

Any interstate travel will require you to observe the state or territory travel requirements.

Health support numbers

      • South Australian COVID-19 hotline: 1800 253 787
      • National coronavirus hotline: 1800 020 080
      • Emergencies: 000

COVID-19 clinics and testing centres in South Australia

Update 15 April 2020: The SA state government has announced a two week COVID-19 "testing blitz" between 16–20 April 2020. During this time, any resident of the state who has a fever, chills or respiratory symptoms can be tested for the virus.

The SA Health website has a list of locations where you can be tested for COVID-19 if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have travelled overseas in the past 14 days and have symptoms
  • You have been interstate in the past seven days and have new symptoms
  • You have been in contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 and you have symptoms
  • You are a healthcare worker with direct patient contact and have a fever and an acute respiratory infection

You can also check for coronavirus symptoms online via healthdirect.

Mental health and wellbeing

If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or unsupported, the following organisations can help:

      • Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) offers crisis support services and short-term support for those who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
      • Kids Helpline (1800 551 800) offers free and confidential counselling services for young people aged 5 to 25 years, both online and over the phone.
      • Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) offers free, confidential support over the phone, as well as through an online chat service. The Beyond Blue website also has a dedicated page about supporting your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

More coronavirus support and information

If you're struggling financially because of coronavirus, check out some of our guides below:

Image: Getty Images

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