Following a lengthy meeting of the Transition Committee this morning, Premier Steven Marshall, Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier and Police Commissioner Grant Stevens addressed the South Australian public today updating on the latest COVID restrictions in South Australia.
Marshall expressed concern at the rest of the country’s situation with rising COVID-19 cases particularly in VIC and NSW, stating that South Australia remains at high alert in relation to potential COVID-19 transmissions.
The Premier announced there would be a modest easing of restrictions in South Australia effective from 00:01 on Thursday.
Density arrangements have been broken into three categories: seated activities, standing activities and fitness centres or gyms.
Seated food and beverage consumption will continue in South Australia but the density arrangement has been increased to 3 people per 4 square metres. This would be relevant for cinemas, theatres, restaurants and bars.
Standing activities such as spectators at outdoor football matches is returning to 1 per 2 square metre capacity, as is the density agreement for retail premises. In indoor sporting stadiums the density agreement remains at 1 per 4 square metres whether spectators are seated or standing.
In gyms and fitness centres, the density restriction remains at 1 per 4 square metres.
Limits on private gatherings outside the homes has slightly increased to 50 guests for birthdays such as a BBQ in a park, or hiring a hall or venue. This is in line with the guest limit for receptions and funerals. The 10 person limit on private gatherings inside the home is not changing at this time.
Any events with over 1000 people in attendance are required to have a COVID management plan in place and are restricted to a density arrangement of 1 person per 6 square metres.
Masks are compulsory in indoor public spaces and high-risk health and aged care setting and also personal care settings. Masks need to also be worn in places of worship if singing is going to occur.
The ban on singing and dancing also remains at this time.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens confirmed that these restrictions would likely remain in place in South Australia until there is an appropriate level of vaccine protection within the state population.
The update comes as Scott Morrison announced last night the Moderna vaccine has been approved for Australian adults, with 25 million doses headed for Australian shores as early as next month.
Marshall also discussed the Highbury Park vaccination clinic who yesterday mistakenly opened up their vaccination appointments to anyone over the age of 18. Those who booked in at Highbury Park for appointments due this week are having their bookings upheld, with Marshall putting this down to human error and acknowledging the positive that the error demonstrated just how many people under the age of 40 are keen to get the vaccine in their arms.
Marshall assured that no vials of the vaccine would be wasted as a result of the Highbury Park error.
Professor Spurrier confirmed once we have supply in the state, South Australia will be opening the vaccine up to everyone to increase the state’s protection against COVID-19, with supply of the Moderna vaccine arriving as early as next month.
In relation to the mandatory vaccination of aged-care workers, Professor Spurrier stated there has been a steady uptake of the vaccine although not as high as she would like, and set a deadline for September in which all aged-care workers need to be vaccinated.
The updates to restriction in South Australia also follows border closures between South Australia and Queensland that were updated this week, with travellers from Queensland now prohibited from entering South Australia unless the person is a permitted arrival or essential traveller.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens also states there was not enough information at this time for South Australia to confidently make a move on borders with regional Victoria, following the announcement of 20 new cases in VIC today alone.
Marshall announced that due to the constantly evolving situation across the country there would be no changes to border restrictions at this time, citing the highly infectious Delta strain as the reason for the state government’s cautious approach to opening South Australia back up.
In an update from Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier, Spurrier announced that there were no new cases in the state today, with seven active cases remaining in South Australia’s medi-hotels.
Three people are currently in hospital at the RAH, with one new case admitted yesterday of a man in his twenties who has been placed in intensive care but is stable. Spurrier confirmed the man is linked to the Modbury Cluster.
With 4000 tests being conducted in South Australia yesterday, Spurrier urged the importance of people continuing to be diligent across the state with testing as soon as they experience any symptoms, and the high likelihood of another outbreak or cluster being uncovered within the state.
COVID-19 TESTING SITE UPDATES
Bookings are required at Victoria Park Pakapakanthi from 10am-8pm (outside of these hours, bookings are not required).
When you book online, you may be placed in a virtual queue. This may happen when there is increased demand on the website.
Follow SA Health’s post on Facebook (link here) for the latest updates on testing sites impacted by the weather. To find an alternative COVID-19 testing site near you, please visit: sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDtesting
ALL SOUTH AUSTRALIANS WHO HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 SHOULD GET TESTED ON THE DAY SYMPTOMS APPEAR.
– Fever or chills (in the absence of an alternative illness that explains these symptoms)
– An acute respiratory infection e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath
– Loss of smell or alteration in the sense of taste
– Diarrhoea and vomiting
For more information: SA COVID-19 Information Line 1800 253 787; sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVID2019.