Border rules to change at midnight

By | August 27, 2020

Premier Steven Marshall has apologised for the “inconvenience” of restrictions to cross border communities who will be allowed to re-enter South Australia as of midnight Thursday.

Those residents in Victoria can enter the state within a 40km radius for shopping, petrol supplies, education, employment and caregiving.

Mr Marshall said there were no current virus cases along the South Australian and Victorian border — which included areas such as Mildura, western Woomera and the Glenelg Shire.

The possibility of easing restrictions was announced earlier this week but was dependent on new infections.

“We’ve always said we want to remove that restriction the second we could,” Mr Marshall said on Thursday.

“It has been an enormous imposition on those border communities. We apologies for the inconvenience and frustration.”

The tougher border restrictions were in place for one week — which started on August 21 — and only allowed students in Years 11 and 12, farmers with properties spanning the border and fewer essential workers into the state.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the state was waiting for the 14-day incubation cycle since the last positive test in those close Victorian towns.

“(Chief Health Officer) Professor Spurrier has been able to give us that advice today which means we are moving forward with the changes,” Mr Stevens said.

“We understand the significant imposition this restriction put on those people who live in Victorian but rely heavily on SA communities and it wasn’t taken lightly as a decision.”

Also coming into effect as of midnight on Thursday is the relaxation on the number of people attending private dwellings, which will increase to 50 people from 10 visitors, with a total of 20 people.

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“This is based on the reducing level of risk from Victoria and the way they’re managing the active cases, which is still of concern, but we’re in a more comfortable position in terms of how we manage our own community,” the Commissioner said.

The eased restrictions will also see travellers coming from jurisdictions open to SA to transit through Sydney or Canberra airports.

Restrictions are still in place for those who travel from NSW or ACT who must self-isolate for 14-days upon arrival.

COVID marshals

Commissioner Stevens said SA Police had seen an increase in the number of people completing their COVID-marshal training but was still encouraging more to do so.

“Proprietors of venues (need) to make sure they have enough staff available to undertake those COVID-19 duties and to ensure the marshals are doing their job effectively.

“This is a longer term plan to ensure businesses can stay open as long as possible and mitigate the need for us to put harsher restrictions to minimise movement within the community”

He said there had so far been no fines issued to businesses that did not have a marshal present.

“We are continuing to work with businesses and this has been our approach with every direction we’ve put in place: to work closely with the community to achieve compliance.

“The introduction of COVID-marshals is not a short term measure. This is something we envisage will be in place for some time while we try to achieve what is going to be known as the new COVID normal.

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“If we get a flat our rejection from any business that refuses to do it, there will be consequences for that.”

Under state directions, the introduction of COVID marshalls at licensed venues, cafes, shopping centres and gyms came into effect on August 21.

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