'Biggest test to date': Covid restrictions return as city tackles new outbreak

·News Reporter
·5-min read

South Australia Premier Steven Marshall has introduced a number of restrictions as the state faces its “biggest test to date” after a coronavirus cluster grew to 17.

There were 14 new cases reported on Monday following three on Sunday. The cluster is expected to continue to grow.

Queensland has announced it will close its borders to South Australia from midnight.

South Australia Premier Steven Marshall is pictured.
South Australia Premier Steven Marshall has announced a number of Covid restrictions will return. Source: AAP (file pic)

SA restrictions beginning midnight

Mr Marshall said on Monday, South Australians “must rise to this new challenge” after the state’s first locally acquired cases since April.

“Gyms, recreation centres, trampolines, cafes are to close,” he said.

“Community sport fixtures are temporarily cancelled, and this applies to indoor and outdoor sports. Contact and non-contact.

“I would advise that outdoor activities like boot camps can continue exactly as they were in the early days of the COVID restrictions in SA.”

Cars queue for the Covid-19 testing facility at Victoria Park, just outside the Adelaide CBD.
People queue for testing at Victoria Park on Monday. Source: Getty Images

Funerals will be capped at 50 people, churches to 100 and pubs to 100 per venue with a maximum booking of 10 per group. No one can stand up at pubs either.

People providing personal services such as nail salons, hairdressers and tattoo artists will have to wear masks while patrons will be urged to.

The restrictions will start from midnight on Monday and Mr Marshall anticipates they will be active for two weeks.

People queuing at the Covid-19 Testing site at Parafield Airport in Adelaide, Australia.
People queue for Covid testing at Adelaide's Parafield Airport. Source: Getty Images

He added people are being encouraged to work from home wherever possible and vulnerable people should stay at home. Face masks should also be worn wherever social distancing isn’t possible, Mr Marshall said.

All schools will remain open. All inbound international flights to South Australia have also been suspended.

“I said last week, Covid has challenged us but has not defeated us,” the premier said.

“We will throw absolutely everything at this to get on top of the cluster.”

PM deploys the troops

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed he has spoken with Mr Marshall.

“We are supporting South Australia in every way that we can and they are aware of that, but I have got to say they have got a lot of people who have moved into isolation,” Mr Morrison told reporters on Monday.

“They are running down the contacts. We have stood up the aged care response centre in South Australia."

Mr Marshall added he had accepted the Federal Government’s offer of deploying Australian Defence Force personnel to South Australia for assistance.

NSW remains open to South Australians

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has insisted her state will remain open as other states and territories move to impose travel restrictions on those arriving from South Australia.

Ms Berejiklian has placed her trust in South Australia to contain a soaring coronavirus cluster as some of the nation’s other state and territory leaders announced travel restrictions following the sudden emergence of cases.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian addresses media during a press conference following a keynote speech to CEDA in Sydney.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state will not close to South Australia. Source: AAP (file pic)

She refused to conform with other states and territories in naming South Australia a hotspot after 17 new locally acquired cases.

“We don't need to do anything differently at this stage,” she told reporters on Monday.

“You can't shut down borders and disrupt lives every time there is an outbreak, and disrupt businesses.”

Queensland closes to Adelaide

All visitors to Queensland from Adelaide will be required to quarantine for 14 days from Tuesday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk added anyone who has been to Adelaide in the past seven days should get tested immediately.

Western Australia places block on SA visitors

Western Australia will block anyone who has recently been in South Australia from entering the state unless they can secure an exemption.

Just days after reopening his state, Premier Mark McGowan confirmed SA will once again be effectively subject to a hard border.

Under harsh new restrictions coming into effect from 6pm on Monday, anyone who has been in SA in the past 14 days will be prevented from flying into WA unless they have an exemption.

Passengers from Brisbane are greeted by family members after arriving at Perth domestic Airport in Perth.
People from Brisbane arrive in Perth over the weekend. Source: AAP

The criteria includes government officials, military personnel, transport, freight or logistics workers and people granted exemptions on compassionate grounds.

Passengers on two flights due to arrive from SA later on Monday will be notified and screened at Adelaide Airport prior to boarding.

Similar restrictions will apply to road arrivals - including those travelling through SA from other states - from Wednesday evening.

"If we have to, the hard border will return for all states and territories," Mr McGowan told reporters, adding that anyone from SA should reconsider their travel.

"I won't take any unnecessary risks."

Northern Territory and Tasmania impose restrictions

Northern Territory’s Michael Gunner and Tasmania’s Peter Gutwein both announced new measures over fears the virus could spread interstate.

Chief Minister Gunner says anyone travelling to the Territory from South Australia will now be forced into supervised quarantine for 14 days.

Premier Gutwein called on anyone who had arrived from South Australia in the past week to immediately isolate while those arriving from Monday would be expected to quarantine at home or pre-booked accommodation.

In what is a remarkable change in fate, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews was in a position on Monday to name a different state a hotspot after 17 days of no new cases in Victoria, saying arrivals from South Australia would be questioned at Melbourne Airport.

with AAP

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