SA Festival, Fringe and tennis to go ahead

·2-min read

South Australia will push ahead with important arts and sporting events over the coming weeks despite closing the border with Victoria in response to a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne.

Adelaide is due to host a major women's tennis tournament as well as the annual Fringe and Festival arts events across both February and March.

South Australia's Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said while it was still early days with the Melbourne outbreak, she was quietly confident the situation would be brought quickly under control.

She said closing the border was also a way of preserving the integrity of the Adelaide events.

"Actually having an outbreak within our state would have jeopardised those particular events," she said.

"I don't think there's going to be a problem with those events going forward."

Professor Spurrier said SA Health would also seek to manage the movement and safety of artists and players.

The Adelaide International tennis tournament is scheduled to run from February 22-27, the Fringe from February 19 to March 21 and the Festival from February 26 to March 14.

Under the border restrictions which came in place from Thursday, travellers from Greater Melbourne are not allowed to enter SA.

Returning SA residents, people relocating and other exempt travellers are still allowed in but need to quarantine for 14 days.

Regional Victoria and cross-border communities are not impacted.

The measures came after the COVID-19 cluster linked to Melbourne's Holiday Inn quarantine hotel grew to eight on Wednesday and then to 10 on Thursday.

Professor Spurrier said while it was too early to say how long the border rules would remain in place, she was confident Victorian officials would quickly get control of the outbreak.

"I feel confident in this situation because of how many of the close contacts they have placed into quarantine," she said.

"I'm getting very good intel about how quickly they are able to get their arms around those people who have potentially been exposed.

"I feel pretty positive that things will settle down quickly."

SA reported just one new COVID-19 case on Thursday, a man in his 30s who recently returned from overseas and is in hotel quarantine.

Tests are underway to determine if the man's positive test represents an old infection.

There are currently five active virus cases in SA, all in hotel quarantine.