COVID-19 Defence Industry Update

COVID UPDATE – Permissions for close contact critical workers to return to worksite during quarantine period for COVID-19

Changes have been made to the Exposure Sites, Contacts and Diagnosis Requirements Direction in South Australia effective from 12.01 am on 13 January 2022.

Today’s changes provide permissions during times of significant COVID case numbers in South Australia, for close contact critical workers to return to a worksite during a quarantine period for COVID-19. Close contact critical workers are certain workers who will be required to attend work despite being a close contact of a COVID case.

The explicit reason for this is to maintain a function critical to the South Australian community and the defence industry has been identified as one of the sectors this direction applies to.

To retain close contact critical workers in the workplace, specific requirements must be met by:

  • Individual organisations/businesses
  • Chief Executives (or equivalent)
  • Close contact critical workers

READ IN FULL: Permission for close contact critical workers to return to worksite during quarantine period for COVID-19

Importantly, to trigger this process the workforce capacity to maintain a function needs to be under significant strain and alternative options for support need to be exhausted first.

Any permission for returning close contacts to the workplace needs to be done carefully and in conjunction with comprehensive, risk mitigation plans based on multi-layered infection prevention and control.

The health and wellbeing of the worker themselves, other staff members and the broader community remains of critical importance.


SA Health will provide guidance of the requirements for critical/essential workers to safely return to work during a quarantine period.

Defence businesses seeking further information or clarification regarding compliance with the requirements can contact Defence SA at

More information

Information on COVID-19 can change quickly. For the most up-to-date information go to the South Australia COVID-19 website