From 9 September 2022, requirements for people who test positive to COVID-19 and close contacts have changed.


From 23 September, visitors to a RACF are no longer required to be vaccinated against influenza or COVID-19. COVID Safe Plans and COVID-Safe check-in are also no longer required at a RACF.


Vaccination is still required for those who engage in work or volunteer at a RACF.

  • Residential aged care facilities are a Tier 1 sensitive setting. This means that visitors and staff who have tested positive to COVID-19 must not enter a RACF on days 6 and 7 after testing positive, and visitors are strongly recommended to avoid visiting on days 8-10. The Protocol
    for the management of close contact residential aged care facility workers must be followed by RACF staff returning to work from days 8-10.
  • A resident who has tested positive to COVID-19 may leave the RACF on day 6, providing they are asymptomatic, follow current advice (including mask use and avoiding certain settings) and the facility can accommodate a COVID safe exit. While in the RACF, residents are still advised to remain in isolation and not attend communal areas or partake in group activities until day 8.
  • An exemption change (PDF 282KB) has been made to clause 6(1)(a)(i) of the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 49) (COVID-19) Direction 2022 to allow close contacts to attend a RACF on day 8 follow exposure to COVID-19, in line with other Tier 1 sensitive settings.

On 24 May 2022 the Major Emergency Declaration was lifted and amendments made to the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 to ensure important public health measures are maintained to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Despite the lifting of the Major Emergency Declaration, the below Emergency Management Directions continue to be in force within the South Australia residential aged care sector under section 90C of the South Australian Public Health Act:

The Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 49) (COVID-19) Direction, which came into effect at 8.49 pm on 23 May 2022.

These measures are in place as a precaution to ensure vulnerable older South Australians continue to remain safe from COVID-19.

For further information and the full list of requirements and directions please visit COVID-19 requirements under the Public Health Act on the SA Health website.

Changes effective 23 September 2022

An exemption change (PDF 282KB) has been made to clause 6(1)(a)(ii) of the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 49)(COVID-19) Direction 2022.

Visitors no longer need to be vaccinated against influenza or COVID-19 to enter a RACF.

Vaccination requirements still apply to:

  • People employed or engaged by or on behalf of a RACF (whether as an employee, contractor or agency staff) to work or perform duties at a premises of a RACF on a full time, part time or casual basis, including:
    • Direct care workers (nurses, personal care workers, allied health professionals and allied health assistants)
    • Administration staff (reception, management, administration)
    • Ancillary staff (food preparation, cleaning, laundry, garden, maintenance)
    • Lifestyle / social care (music/art therapy)
    • Transport drivers of residents of RACF.
  • Volunteers engaged by a RACF to undertake duties at a RACF.
  • Students on placement at a RACF.
  • Medical practitioners and allied health professionals who attend and provide care to residents of a RACF whether employed or engaged by the resident, RACF or another person.

Visitor restrictions in clause 5 (f)(i) and (ii) have also been removed for RACFs that have less than 70% of residents with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination.

Clause 6 and clause 8(1)-(3) of the Emergency Management (COVID-19 Requirements)(Consolidated Measures) Direction 2022 and clause 7(4) and 10(4)(a) of the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 49)(COVID-19) Direction 2022 have been expired.

COVID Safe Plans and COVID-Safe check-in are no longer required at a RACF.

The requirement for facilities to display and collect contact tracing information has been removed.

Changes effective 1 September 2022

An exemption change (PDF 282KB) has been made to clause 6(1)(a)(ii) of the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 49)(COVID-19) Direction 2022.

All visitors and staff who are permitted entry into a RACF are no longer required to undertake temperature checks to enter.

The change also means that visitors and staff who have had a history of fever or chills within the previous 72 hours, or have had a loss of taste or smell, are no longer prohibited from entering an RACF under the Direction. 

Visitors and staff are still not permitted to enter or remain on the premises of a RACF if the person has symptoms of acute respiratory infection.

Mandatory COVID-19 Infection Control Training requirements

By 31 October 2022, before being permitted to enter or remain on the premises of a RACF, all persons providing personal care or nursing care to residents of a RACF must complete either:

  • both of the below Infection Prevention and Control eLearning Modules, developed by the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI)
    or
  • one or more training courses that meets the following learning outcomes:
    • Assessing the risk of infection during everyday duties.
    • Using risk assessment to determine the infection control precautions required.
    • Understanding “The Chain of Infection” and how interrupting the chain can stop the transmission of infectious agents.
    • Understanding the components of standard and transmission-based precautions (including hand hygiene, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning, equipment use and handling of sharps).
    • Understanding the sequences for donning and doffing PPE.

COVID-19 Infection Control Training – Option 1

Basics of Infection Prevention and Control for Aged Care

This module provides a basic knowledge of infection prevention and control principles to assist the learner in understanding how infections spread and how to prevent this occurring, in the aged care environment. The content provides a clear understanding of transmission-based precautions and standard precautions, including hand hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental cleaning, specific advice on COVID-19 and staff health.

and

Hand Hygiene Standard Theory Online Learning Module

The Hand Hygiene Standard Education Package has been developed to increase knowledge regarding hand hygiene practices.

Each module is expected to take 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete.

RACF operators are required to keep records of workers who have completed this training and provide such records to an authorised officer on request.

To enrol in the above-mentioned modules, log into the NHHI LMS External link, select the tile labelled ‘Aged Care Modules’, open the catalogue and choose the module you wish to undertake to begin your learning.

Learners will need to create a profile with in the NHHI LMS.  If you are experiencing any issues please refer to the National Hand Hygiene Initiative online learning - frequently asked questions (FAQs).

COVID-19 Infection Control Training – Option 2

Any infection control training that meets all the above-mentioned learning outcomes may now be undertaken by RACF workers to fulfil the training requirements under clause 7(1)(b) of the Direction. To comply with the Direction using alternative training modules, the RACF provider (or employment agency) must review the training to ensure that all required learning outcomes are met and complete the self-declaration form (PDF 82KB).

A copy of the completed self-declaration form must be kept by RACF with the required training records and provided to an authorised officer upon request under clause 7(1)(c) of the Direction.

Mandatory COVID-19 Infection Control Training (either Option 1 or Option 2) must be refreshed annually by all persons providing personal care or nursing care to residents in a RACF.

Aged care exemptions

There are exceptional circumstances when an individual may need an exemption from SA Health to the requirements under the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 49) (COVID-19) Direction.

To apply for an exemption, please complete an online exemption application.

Additional aged care facility information

For specific advice about compliance with the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 49) (COVID-19) Direction 2022, email health.covidcompliance@sa.gov.au

For additional information or advice in relation to a COVID-19 outbreak in a residential aged care facility, email Health.agedcareCOVID19@sa.gov.au

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