South Australia will close its borders following an escalation of Covid-19 cases entering from interstate, Premier Steven Marshall announced in a press conference today.

This means anyone arriving from interstate, whether residents or visitors, are now required to self-isolate for 14 days or face penalties. The new rules come into effect immediately and will be enforced by border patrol from 4pm Tuesday.

It comes as SA authorities announce a “major emergency” for the state and follows similar measures introduced in Tasmania and the Northern Territory last week.

South Australia Police will staff 12 border control stations around the state, including the airport. Entrants will need to sign a declaration and state where they will be self-isolating.

Marshall says the mandatory move would “turn off the tap” of people flowing into the state. “This will massively reduce the risk and slow the spread of this disease,” he said.

“What we’re trying to do here is massively reduce the peak of the coronavirus impact and push it out into the future as far as possible. That gives us the maximum amount of time to ensure that all our critical health capability is in place to meet and exceed that expected demand.”

This article was updated on Sunday March 22 to clarify that the new rules come into effect immediately and will be enforced by border patrol from 4pm Tuesday.

For more information, including exemptions, see the latest updates from SA Health.