South Australia’s border with Victoria will be bolstered with a stronger police presence from next week, amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the eastern state.

Key points:Strict controls will remain in place at the Victorian borderSA venues will be able to increase the number of patrons from MondayPubs, restaurants and dance classes are among the venues to benefit

The SA Government today said that, despite plans to further ease social distancing measures within the state from next week, extra police would be sent to border checkpoints in the east.

Premier Steven Marshall said anyone wanting to travel into South Australia from Victoria would need to go through a pre-approval process.

“We will maintain our very strong border policy, in particular with relation to the border with Victoria,” Mr Marshall said.

“Police will be putting additional resources down onto that border.

“As of next week, we will move to a pre-approval arrangement with all people coming across that border.”

Victoria today recorded another 17 coronavirus cases, prompting Premier Daniel Andrews to warn of “significant community transmission”.

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said that after the state’s borders with Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland were reopened, police could now pay more attention to the Victorian border.

“Recognising the concerns in relation to our eastern neighbours, we are increasing the number of police we have on the border checkpoints, we are increasing the number of static checkpoints that we have between South Australia and Victoria,” he said.

“We are increasing the number of general patrols as well that are working on those border access roads.”

Mr Marshall said there was currently no plan to change the July 20 deadline to reopen remaining borders, but said he was “looking very carefully at the moment at Victoria”.

“We certainly wouldn’t be lifting our border with Victoria until we were sure it wasn’t going to send us backwards,” he said.

The SA Government today revealed more details around plans to further reduce social distancing measures at pubs and other venues, allowing some to fill to up to 50 per cent capacity.

Venues will be able to adhere to one person per two square metres in SA from Monday.(Supplied)

From Monday, social distancing will be reduced to one person per two square metres, down from the current restriction of one person per four square metres.

Mr Marshall said the measure would help boost the number of patrons at venues, allowing businesses to hire more staff.

“This is going to increase the capacity of many sectors in South Australia to re-employ people and get them back to work,” he said.

“We know this represents approximately 50 per cent of the capacity of most venues.”

Mr Marshall said the state would soon be bringing back another group of repatriated Australians, who will be returning on a combination of commercial and Australian Defence Force (ADF) flights.

Adelaide Oval could fill to ’50 per cent’

Restrictions on “higher risk” larger scale venues, such as nightclubs and events, could also be reconsidered.

Larger events, such as AFL games, will also be able to increase capacity, subject to approval.

The Showdown usually attracts big crowds to Adelaide Oval.(ABC News: Malcolm Sutton)

“If we can sit down with the Stadium Management Authority and we are satisfied with their COVID management plan, the Adelaide Oval could be up to 50 per cent capacity,” Mr Marshall said.

Maximum capacity for SANFL matches on the weekend has also been set at 5,000 people per doubleheader.



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