Efforts are continuing to contact more than 500 people who travelled from NSW to South Australia and were wrongly told to quarantine for 14 days.

New measures in response to Sydney’s coronavirus cluster came into force on Monday, including a requirement to isolate for two weeks and have three tests for the virus.

But about 550 people who arrived before the midnight deadline on Sunday were incorrectly told they also had to quarantine.

About 180 have since been contacted and 160 of those have been released.

Work will continue on Tuesday to contact more of those affected after Police Commissioner Grant Stevens apologised for the error.

“This is a very unfortunate set of circumstances, at a very unfortunate time of the year, when people are travelling to spend Christmas with their families,” Mr Stevens told reporters on Monday.

“We apologise for that inconvenience but we would ask that people appreciate this is exceptionally difficult work.

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“This is an evolving situation with conditions changing every single day.”

As well as those who went into isolation, another 100 people chose to return to NSW.

It’s believed they will also be spoken to, but whether they will now be allowed to come to SA could depend on their individual circumstances.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said the government would consider compensation for people inconvenienced or out of pocket by the confusion on a case-by-case basis.

But Mr Wade said SA Health and the police continued to have his full confidence in dealing with the health crisis.

“In a pandemic, things won’t always be neat, things won’t always be tidy,” he said.

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“I would much rather them act swiftly and act decisively to protect South Australians rather than wait until they’ve got all the forms finished.”

The confusion on Sunday came as Sydney’s cluster grew to 70 cases and then to 85 on Monday.

Under SA’s new rules anyone who has been in Sydney’s northern beaches area will not be allowed to enter the state.

The Greater Sydney region, along with the Central Coast and the Wollongong areas have been declared high community transition zones.

People arriving in SA from those areas from Monday will need to quarantine in a suitable location for 14 days and get tested on day one, day five and day 12.

AAP

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