Thousands of South Australia's aged care workers could face pay cuts under new COVID-19 restrictions, the state's peak welfare group says.
From August 27, carers in nursing homes will not be allowed to work at more than one facility and all staff, including doctors and nurses, will be required to wear masks when coming into close contact with residents.
The South Australian Council of Social Service says the new measures are welcomed to help protect workers and residents from infection.
But Chief Executive Ross Womersley says it may mean that people who worked across multiple locations suddenly find themselves with a major loss of income.
"We cannot be absolutely sure how many people are going to be in these circumstances because that information is not currently collected," he said.
"However, based on anecdotal reports, we can anticipate that this will impact on thousands of personal care workers."
Mr Womersley said the state government must move urgently to introduce paid sick leave for workers impacted by the new requirements and a further payment to address any loss of income.
So far, South Australia has not had any COVID-19 infections among aged care residents and Health Minister Stephen Wade said while challenging, the new measures would help prevent the disease impacting on some of the state's most vulnerable people.
"We aren't waiting for an infection to get a foothold in one of our residential aged care facilities," he said.
"We're at the front door trying to stop it getting in in the first place."
Mr Wade said the government wanted to minimise the disruption to facilities and workers and hoped arrangements could be put in place to maintain services and retain jobs.
He said the two-week phase-in period would give the industry time to allow for workers to be paired up, ensuring all shifts were covered and all workers employed.
No new virus infections were reported in South Australia on Thursday, with the total number of cases diagnosed since the start of the pandemic remaining at 459.
Only six cases are still considered active.
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