SA takes a tougher stance on VIC border, shuts down nightclubs
7 July 2020, Written by Business News Australia
It has now been a week since South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced the state's border with Victoria would not be relaxed on 20 July due to concerns over high levels of community transmission of COVID-19 in Melbourne.
But today the state government is taking an even stricter approach.
As of midnight tomorrow night the SA border will close to anyone coming in from Victoria, except returning residents who must go into quarantine and essential travel permitholders who will need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the decision was made based on health advice received today which determined the outbreak in Melbourne was a significant risk.
"Most jurisdictions are now reconsidering their attitude in terms of Victorians travelling from Victoria into other jurisdictions. We're no different," he said.
"We are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the South Australian community, given that we have provided as much latitude as possible within our own community and relaxed restrictions so that businesses can get back to trading and people can start to enjoy life as close to normal as possible."
Commissioner Stevens also announced nightclubs would be shut down following a "total disregard for social distancing" in Adelaide. Now venues need to prepare COVID Safe plans in order to reopen.
"We were quite concerned about some of the activities we saw in the CBD over the course of the weekend," he said.
"In some respects there was a total disregard for social distancing, and given the nature of this virus and the ease with which it spreads in that type of context, the decision to restrict nightclub activity until they have a management plan I think is a very sound one."
He said footage from crowd behaviour in nightclubs showed "no efforts" to socially distance and "no control or management" of significant crowds converging outside venues.
"There were some venues who did certainly exhibit best endeavours to comply, but the reality is the nature of the cohort that are attending these venues are making it very difficult for these venues to operate without some strict management plan in place," he added.
As for SA's border restrictions to travellers from New South Wales and the ACT, Stevens says the Transition Committee is still looking at the 20 July date for reopening to those states.
"New South Wales and ACT will still be able to travel to South Australia and undertake a 14-day quarantine period, given the level of risk associated with the community of New South Wales and ACT, and we'll be continuing to monitor the potential for any seeding of the COVID-19 virus in New South Wales or ACT as a result of the current activities in Victoria," says Stevens.
Updated at 3:12pm AEST on 7 July 2020.
Author: Business News Australia