Legendary train The Ghan is turned around at Alice Springs while en route to Darwin from Adelaide, throwing travel plans of 221 passengers into chaos as borders are slammed shut
- Ghan train turned around amid coronavirus fears after crossing into NT from SA
- 221 passengers have had travel plans thrust into chaos following border closures
- The Ghan was already in the NT when the state’s borders were closed to SA
- Train operator, Journey Beyond, is working with health officials to ensure safety
A total of 221 passengers have had their travel plans thrust into chaos following the new border closures sparked by the COVID-19 cluster in Parafield in Adelaide‘s north.
The Ghan, an iconic train for adventurers, was already in the Northern Territory when the state’s borders were closed to South Australia.
The train operator, Journey Beyond, said they were working with health officials to ensure everyone’s safety.
The Ghan train has been turned around amid coronavirus fears after crossing into the Northern Territory from South Australia (pictured, the train in Darwin in 2012)
Health authorities are seen testing people in cars at Victoria Park COVID testing centre on November 17 in Adelaide (pictured) after the outbreak spread
‘Guests on-board were given the option to disembark in Alice Springs and quarantine for 14 days or stay on-board and continue through to Adelaide where they will be supported to return home safely,’ a spokesman told Adelaide Now.
All affected guests will be given credit vouchers for any future travel bookings and be helping in re-booking their trip.
Tickets for The Ghan cost $5,369 for a 14 day trip covering 2,979km.
This was The Ghan’s final trip north for this year after the SA-NT border reopened following months of no community transmission.
The train left Adelaide on Sunday and was due to arrive in Darwin on Tuesday at 5.30pm.
But hours after its departure, the state recorded 17 new cases which led to a new set of restrictions including border closures from other states, hoping to stop a second wave of the deadly virus.
‘Journey Beyond takes the health and wellbeing of guests and crew seriously and has been safely running services twice weekly since 30 August with a COVID safe operational plan in place,’ the spokesman continued.
Tickets for The Ghan cost $5,369 for a 14 day trip covering 2,979km (stock image)
South Australia’s cluster in Parafield has grown to 23 cases after the state reported a further four cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.
The new cases are attached to the emerging cluster – linked to a family in north Adelaide – which has prompted the state government to reimpose a range of coronavirus restrictions.
New Covid rules for SA
Pubs and clubs: Capped at 100
Weddings: Capped at 150
Funerals: Capped at 50
Gyms: Closed for two weeks
Community sport: Cancelled
Masks: Compulsory for salon and tattoo workers, encouraged for general use
Schools: Remain open
Pubs, clubs and restaurants will be limited to 100 people per venue from Tuesday, with one person per four square metres and no stand-up drinking.
Table bookings and home gatherings will be capped at 10 people, with funerals limited to 50 and weddings to 150.
Gyms and recreation centres will be closed for two weeks and community sport fixtures will be cancelled – but schools will stay open.
Hair and nail salon workers and tattooists must wear masks, and general mask wearing is strongly advised where social distancing is not possible.
Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have imposed quarantine for people arriving from South Australia, while Victoria has introduced extra screening.
SA Health authorities believe the outbreak started when a worker at Peppers Hotel quarantine in Adelaide’s CBD brought the virus home.
A woman in her 50s and a man in his 60s, as well as an 80-year-old woman – one of their mothers – were among the first to test positive.
The 80-year-old woman went to Adelaide’s Lyell McEwin Hospital for testing.
Contact tracing is underway for about 90 staff and patients at the hospital who may have come into contact with her.
A primary school child, a year eight student, a Hungry Jack’s worker and two aged care workers have also tested positive.
Hundreds of people have lined up to get a coronavirus test at a pop-up clinic in Parafield, northern Adelaide on Monday morning as a family cluster in the suburb continues to grow