Coronavirus: SA to ease restrictions after testing blitz

Nick Whigham
·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read

South Australia has not recorded any new coronavirus cases in the past 24-hour period as the state looks to ease restrictions.

State health authorities conducted 12,322 tests, which have not returned any positive results.

After the Parafield cluster grew to 31 known cases on Thursday, the state’s Chief Medical Officer Nicola Spurrier said authorities were confident they had contacted and tested all known close contacts.

While the cluster remains a source of concern, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall struck a note of optimism following the second wave scare after an infection leaked from hotel quarantine.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall speaking to the media during the daily Covid-19 update. Source: Getty
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall speaking to the media during the daily Covid-19 update. Source: Getty

“This has been a challenging time for the people of South Australia dealing with this Parafield cluster and I want to thank every single person in the state for the outstanding effort and contribution they have made to helping us get on top of this cluster,” he said.

The border restrictions with Victoria will be completely lifted as of midnight on Monday night next week, Mr Marshall told reporters on Friday, meaning travellers coming in won’t need to quarantine. It comes as Victorian health authorities said Friday they have ostensibly eliminated the virus in the state.

SA eases rules on pubs and hospitality

Patron caps for pubs and restaurants will be scrapped in South Australia provided venues are using the new QR check-in codes, although the one person to every four-square metres rule will continue to apply.

The density requirement will be reduced to one person to every two-square metres for any outdoor activities where stand-up consumption will also be allowed.

Restrictions will be relaxed in public venues and 150 people will be able to attend funerals, weddings and private functions.

Mr Marshall said the new rules would remain in place for two weeks as SA begins to return to the level of restrictions in place before the Parafield cluster.

“These chart our course back to where we want to be by Christmas,” he said.

The premier said he had also written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking for a further delay in any international flight arrivals. He said the pause in flights would now continue until December 7.

With nearly 100,000 people tested, health authorities are thanking residents for cooperating with restrictions and a statewide testing blitz.

Despite increased confidence, SA Health said “the Parafield cluster remains a concern”.

“The next few weeks are crucial for us in our fight against Covid-19,” it said alongside a video of Prof Spurrier thanking the public.

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