SA lifts Melbourne virus travel ban

·2-min read

South Australia is allowing people back on the dancefloor and will drop its remaining COVID-19 border restrictions with Victoria from Friday.

With COVID-19 vaccines now rolling out SA authorities will assess their impact as they continue to review local coronavirus restrictions in coming weeks and months.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says while he cannot see what might happen in the future, officials were always looking at what changes could be made as the state moves towards "COVID-normal".

"I don't have a crystal ball. We're looking at the impact of the vaccine on the South Australian community and how that impacts on risk," he said.

"But we are continuing to talk about what other changes might be made to those restrictions.

"This is not COVID-normal. This is another step towards getting back to normal."

The commissioner's comments came as SA decided to drop its remaining COVID-19 border restrictions with Victoria from Friday, allowing travellers from Greater Melbourne to enter the state.

SA's transition committee met on Wednesday to endorse the change which was put in place in response to an outbreak in coronavirus cases there in recent weeks.

Premier Steven Marshall said the relaxation came after Victoria's great work to get on top of the cluster.

He said some local restrictions would be eased at the same time, with dancing to be allowed in venues with a capacity of less than 200 patrons.

Venues between 200 and 1000 would also be allowed dancing, but must limit numbers on the dancefloor to 50 at a time.

"A lot of people are going to be quite relieved that dancing is going to be allowed in South Australia," the premier said.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said because there was no evidence of community transmission in Victoria, visitors from Melbourne would not be required to undergo COVID-19 testing.

However, she said people already in SA who came from designated hotspots in Melbourne would be required to complete their 14 days in quarantine and others already in the state would be required to have tests on days one, five and 12.

Mr Stevens said the easing of border rules with Victoria would help free up police resources at checkpoints.

"But it's important to stress we are not COVID-free in Australia," he said.

"We still have people (with the virus) in our quarantine hotels. So we have to have a base level of restrictions."

SA reported one new coronavirus case on Wednesday, in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

However, Professor Spurrier said the case was considered an old infection.