SA Health defends Collingwood exemption

·2-min read

South Australia's chief public health officer has defended a decision to give Collingwood a COVID-19 exemption to travel to Adelaide for this weekend's AFL game against the Adelaide Crows.

With Victorians banned from travelling across the border, Professor Nicola Spurrier said it was not her job to make moral judgements about the importance of football compared to other activities or requests for exemptions.

"My job is to make it as safe as possible," she told reporters on Wednesday.

"I don't think that this is risky. I think this is a negligible risk."

As part of the exemption, a smaller than usual Collingwood contingent will travel to Adelaide, flying in and out on the same day on a charter plane.

A sterile corridor will also be established between the airport and Adelaide Oval.

Collingwood players have gone into quarantine with their families and must return a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed to play.

They must also sign a declaration that they have not visited any of the exposure sites in Melbourne.

Professor Spurrier said Collingwood and Crows players would also be required to have another virus test within 48 hours of the game and will be subject to restrictions on their movement until they return a negative result.

She said SA Health officials had worked hard with the AFL to mitigate any risks to the wider South Australian public.

She said it had not been deemed necessary to reduce the size of the crowd allowed at Saturday's game.

The exemption had also been given following a review of the current situation in Melbourne with the outbreak standing at 60 cases.

Prof Spurrier said she did not consider the outbreak to be evidence yet of widespread community transmission.

"We have also had more experience of bringing people into this state and doing risk mitigation," she said.

"Only those people who are essential to this game are being allowed to come. We've got it right down to the very minimum."

SA reported six new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, but five of those were considered historic cases that were no longer infectious.

All those cases are in returned travellers who are in hotel quarantine.

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