AUSTRALIAN Defence Force personnel will join border control resources across the Limestone Coast as police crack down on the number of entry routes into the region from Victoria.
South Australia Police has approved 15 roads into the region from Victoria, with a 50km travel corridor from the border now in effect with cross-border community members and other Victorian essential travellers not permitted to travel beyond this zone.
People returning to South Australia as announced travellers from Victoria will also be urged to submit to a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of their arrival, while Premier Steven Marshall has also implored anyone who has been in Victoria in recent weeks to get tested.
It comes as Victoria’s COVID-19 health crisis continues to escalate with 165 new cases recorded yesterday.
With a significant number of roads linking the Limestone Coast to Victoria outside of the 15 approved routes, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens yesterday conceded it would be a difficult challenge to police all entry points.
“We have put steps in place to cover all of those particular access points and have divided them into three categories,” Commissioner Stevens said.
“We have the high volume areas which will be staffed by police, we have the secondary roads which are going to be staffed by police supported by members of the Australian Defence Force and we have very small seldom used roads, which will be the subject of road blocks and surveillance.”
Commissioner Stevens said the ADF would also provide support in the police operations centre in Mount Gambier.
“They’ll be helping with the coordination of ADF resources,” he said.
“We are bringing in defence force personnel, inducting them and teaming them up with police officers to support our efforts to keep the borders closed.”
Police at border checkpoints will also provide arriving travellers with three free face masks, which they will be required to wear, however no stock was available yet when The Border Watch visited one of the manned control points yesterday.
They will then be directed to self-quarantine for 14 days and will also have to submit for a follow-up test 12 days after their arrival.
Cross-border essential travellers will be confined to the 50km corridor from the eastern border, which runs north to south across the entire state.
This effectively safeguards Limestone Coast communities such as Millicent, Beachport, Robe and Keith from Victorian travellers, given they all fall outside the designated zone.
Premier Steven Marshall said the state would start a testing blitz for anyone who had recently returned from Victoria.
“We are asking all people who have entered Victoria in recent weeks to present themselves immediately for testing for COVID-19,” he said.
“Even if people do not have symptoms we are asking them to present themselves to make sure we can look at every single possibility.”
He labelled the new measures as a blunt reminder to South Australians to not get complacent with the virus.