South Australia will temporarily close its borders to all visitors in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, as announced this morning by State Premier, Steven Marshall.

Premier Marshall said the measures, which would be in place from 4pm on Tuesday, were being taken in the “interest of … public health”.

We’ve got to do everything we can to restrict (the virus) in high-risk areas. What we’re trying to do here is massively restrict the peak of the coronavirus outbreak and push it out into the future,” said Mr Marshall assuring people who lived in border communities they would still be allowed to cross into South Australia as long as there were no coronavirus outbreaks in those towns.

The SA Premier told reporters a recent surge in cases brought from interstate had forced the decision.

“We received this advice from the chief public health officer in South Australia,” he said.

‘She was very clear that we’ve got to do everything we can to reduce the high-risk areas predominantly from people coming across the borders for holidays.”

The measures will have exemptions allowing freight to cross the border and the State Government will establish 12 border crossings where travellers will be required to sign a declaration about their health and ability to undertake mandatory self-isolation for two weeks.

Anyone who enters the state will be forced to self-isolate for 14 days and advise authorities where they will be.

The new measures will take effect from 4pm on Tuesday and will not impact the state’s essential services, including the supply of food.

“Finally, our government is going something. I wish it had happened earlier but better late than never” said Greek Australian mother of three, Tania K.

South Australia is the third state to close its borders, following the Northern Territory and Tasmania who suspended travellers from arriving earlier in the week.

“I am disappointed I will not be able to go back home for Easter but I am pleased with the new measures as safety and health come first,” says Athanasia who lives and works in Melbourne but was planning to spend Easter with her elderly parents in regional SA.

“The entire country should be put under lock down if we want to stop the virus from spreading but at least SA, Tasmania and NT are a good start,” adds Silvana. “We’ve taken unprecedented action to close South Australia’s borders as part of our strong and clear plan to protect the health of South Australians. By slowing the spread of coronavirus, we will SAVE LIVES and help our dedicated health professionals navigate this global pandemic.

“Together, we will get through this,” concluded Premier Marshall.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has also just announced closure of WA’s borders.