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South Australia Imposes New COVID Restrictions

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SA Premier Steven Marshall announced the restrictions would come into effect as of midnight on Thursday night. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz

Anticipated Covid-19 restrictions will come into effect in South Australia after an infected removalist entered the state from NSW via Victoria last Friday.

Premier Steven Marshall said authorities were taking “pre-emptive action” and announced the changes would come into effect at midnight on Thursday.

Masks will be required at personal care services, like hairdressers, and high risk settings, including aged care and correctional facilities.

A cap of 150 people at private gatherings will come into effect.

Dancing and singing has again been banned.

There will also a 50 per cent density requirement for licensed premises.

A temporary ban has also been placed on shisha.

“The deteriorating situation around the country is a major wakeup call for SA,” Mr Marshall said.

“We don’t want lockdowns here in SA so we’re asking South Australian to co-operate.

“We are very concerned about the transmission which occurred at the MCG so we need to take action to protect SA.”

There were two new cases recorded in SA on Thursday; both were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

There are currently 16 active cases in the state.

South Australians were warned by Police Commissioner Grant Stevens on Wednesday night that restrictions could be implemented.

Following his meeting with SA Health, he said authorities were “very concerned” by the current situation and were meeting on Thursday morning to discuss if “further steps” needed to be taken.

Three sites at Tailem Bend have so far been confirmed as exposure sites, venues where the removalists stopped along their route to McLaren Vale to help permanently relocate a family from NSW.

Two of those locations are the Shell service station and the attached Coolabah Tree cafe.

Because there were 76 credit card transactions and only 25 check-ins at the premises, Mr Stevens said it was a “major factor” when considering the level of restrictions across the state.

“We need to be confident that the South Australian community are doing the right thing and using the QR check-ins so we can actively contact trace anybody who may have been exposed,” he said.

So far, authorities have identified at least 118 people who visited the service station or cafe between 5.20pm and 7pm last Friday.

They are currently in isolation and have returned negative tests.

The Commissioner — who is also the Covid-19 State Coordinator — delivered a “harsh warning” to South Australians to do the right thing by using QR codes at all locations, obeying requirements and restrictions and to get tested if they had any symptoms.

“I need people to understand just how serious this is and how close we are to imposing further restrictions on the community of South Australia.,” he said on Thursday morning.

“We are not doing that now, but it is something we are actively considering as we watch what happens in other places.”

The OTR Motorsport Park at Tailem Bend was listed as the third exposure site and anyone who visited the service station between 7.20am and 8.15am last Friday needs to immediately quarantine and get tested.

Following the potential exposure, a mobile testing clinic was opened at Tailem Bend and operates from 9am-8pm.

Queues of people and cars have been seen at the site.

A fourth possible exposure location is still being investigated.

It was announced earlier in the week that truck and freight drivers entering SA would now need to undergo mandatory testing, which came into effect at 12.01am Thursday morning.

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Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

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