Overseas tourists back mid-21: SA premier

Steven Marshall says SA will be an attractive destination on the other side of COVID-19.
Steven Marshall says SA will be an attractive destination on the other side of COVID-19.

Premier Steven Marshall says he's hopeful international tourists will return to South Australia by the middle of next year.

The premier has marked progress on a hotel development in Adelaide and says it's important the accommodation sector is ready to bounce back when the COVID-19 crisis is over.

"We're confident that we will work towards a time when we can attract and invite guests from around the world to come back to Adelaide," Mr Marshall said on Tuesday.

"What we know is that South Australia and Australia more broadly is going to become a very attractive place on the other side of the coronavirus.

"We've been able to manage the situation in Australia best in the world and I think that will attract a new type of visitor.

"Maybe I am being optimistic but I'm hopeful we can have people return from overseas next year but we will not be doing it before it is safe."

The premier said while there had been talk of travel bubbles with New Zealand or other COVID-safe nations, he did not think that was likely in the coming months.

"But I am hopeful by the middle of next year we will be open to international travellers," he said.

The premier also defended a pilot plan to bring some international students back to Adelaide from September this year.

He said the 300 university students would all be subjected to the same quarantine arrangements as anyone returning to SA and health authorities were satisfied that their return could be managed safely and effectively.

"We would never push ahead with something without health's big tick of approval and that's precisely what we've got," he said.

SA Health reported no new virus case on Tuesday, with the total since the start of the pandemic remaining at 462.

There are seven active infections while total test numbers have topped 326,000.

Australian Associated Press