Cinemas, theatres, galleries, museums, beauty salons, gyms and indoor fitness centres across South Australia will be able to open from next Monday, with the SA Government bringing forward the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions.
Key points:The second stage of eased restrictions was due to begin on June 8, but has been brought forwardVenues will be allowed to admit up to 80 patrons in groups of 20Premier Steven Marshall said the state’s lack of coronavirus cases allowed careful easing of restrictions
Those venues, along with pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes, will be able to admit up to 80 patrons, provided they can contain them to groups of 20 in discrete rooms or areas within the business.
Pubs will be able to serve alcohol without food but only to seated patrons.
Rules allowing one person per four square metres, and 1.5-metre social distancing, will remain in place.
Up to 50 mourners will be allowed at funerals, while businesses will be required to complete COVID-19 plans and produce them on request.
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The State Government has been accelerating its plans to reopen the economy, including with a surprise decision to open pubs last Friday evening.
Stage two restrictions were originally due to ease on June 8, but that was previously brought forward to June 5 and now to Monday, June 1.
No new positive coronavirus cases have been recorded in South Australia since May 7, keeping the total at 439.
Premier Steven Marshall said the “great results” had given the Government “confidence to carefully and slowly lift restrictions” and allow for a “massive increase” in the number of patrons allowed in hotels.
“This is only possible because of the continuing very, very good results in terms of low or no cases and of course the high level of testing,” he said.
Under the eased restrictions, non-contact outdoor sport will be able to resume on June 1 and competition for outdoor contact sports can resume from June 25.
“We’re a sporting nation, we love our sport in South Australia, and it’s going to be absolutely fantastic that we’re back to full contact training,” Mr Marshall said.
‘We’ve moved very quickly in SA’
SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, who is the emergency management state coordinator, said the “level of compliance was impressive and significant” over the weekend.
Commissioner Stevens said it would be up to individual venues to check the SA Government’s COVID-19 website and fill in the COVIDSafe paperwork to ensure they were doing the right thing.
“The set-up of a particular venue will dictate just how many they can have up to the cap of 80 — groups of 20 in defined rooms. Those rooms may be temporary rooms [with] temporary walls that are established so they can increase the number of patrons,” he said.
“The fundamental premise is that we must slowly release these activities so we can monitor the behaviour of the virus as we start to return to normal.”
Pubs, restaurants and cafes can welcome people for indoor dining earlier than scheduled.(ABC News: Malcolm Sutton)
Australian Hotels Association SA chief executive Ian Horne earlier said bringing forward the easing of restrictions would help businesses readjust before the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June.
“I suspect there will be a cap per venue … we think there should be up to a maximum of 50 people per area within a hotel or a restaurant or a club,” he said.
“That’s exactly what’s happening in New South Wales. New South Wales has announced from the first of June, next Monday … they’re allowing up to 50 people drinking without food.”
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However, Mr Marshall said the “most important thing” was to ensure the state did not “go backwards”.
“There are more places around the world that have eased restrictions and then had to put them back in place, than those who have eased them and left them off — and we want to be one of those places,” he said.
“Our primary role is not to satisfy an individual group but to work with those groups to reduce risk and get as many people back to work as possible.
“I think we’ve moved very quickly in South Australia — well beyond what most people were expecting two, three or four weeks ago.”
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Mr Horne said the opportunity to open doors last Friday was a welcome move for those establishments that could open last minute.
“I’m amazed so many operators were actually able to do something on Friday night,” he said.
“Most of those already had an established takeaway system so they already had their kitchen staff working.
“The majority took a lot longer. It really started to get into the swing last night.”
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