We are about to head off on a driving trip to South Australia. Whilst we have done a few short local trips over recent months, this will be our first serious trip away since Covid-19 broke out fifteen months ago.
We heading to the Flinders Ranges in the middle of South Australia – an area of outback Australia that has ruggedly beautiful scenery and lots of history. We will also drive down to Port Lincoln which is noted as a place for tuna fishing, oyster farming and stunning coastal scenery. This trip will take sixteen days and cover 3,700 kilometres.
Some Australian states are notorious for closing their borders at the slightest sniff of an outbreak of the virus in other places. Most of these outbreaks seem to occur in large capital cities where there is greater population density and / or the virus escapes from hotels where returned international travellers are compulsorily quarantined for two weeks after returning to Australia. Today, there are only 200 active cases in the whole country and all of these are in quarantine hotels. There are no new cases of the virus in the community.
There is so little virus in the country right now that much of our lives have now returned to normal. As long as we give the city of Adelaide a wide berth, we should have no trouble in returning to Victoria. Our state has a system of classifying cities or regions as being green, orange or red. Coming in from a green area is easy – normal everyday travel. When coming from an orange city, or area, it is compulsory to take a covid test within a few days and self isolate until you receive a negative result. You cannot travel into Victoria from a red area unless you have an exemption and even then you have to go into self quarantine for fourteen days and take a series of tests.
The South Australian State Government requires that a police permit be issued in order to enter the state. They ask you to apply for a permit seven days before travel. We applied for our permits last week (online) and they were issued within a few minutes. We will also have to register the details of our travels with the Victorian Government before returning home. This is all done in order to maintain the facility to track and trace people in case of a virus breakout.
We expect cold mornings and mild days while we are away. At this time of year, there is little rainfall along our planned route so we are looking forward to enjoying a good time outdoors. I hope to take some good photographs and find some interesting stories.