SA to close border with VIC to returning residents, new gathering restrictions incoming

SA to close border with VIC to returning residents, new gathering restrictions incoming

From midnight on Tuesday all travellers from Victoria including South Australian residents will not be allowed to cross the border into SA, strengthening an already hard border.

Previously, residents returning to the state from Victoria were permitted to cross the border, but because of the ongoing crisis in Melbourne Premier Steven Marshall says the new measure is necessary to protect South Australians.

Further, Marshall has reimposed some restrictions on gatherings including capping home gatherings at 50 people, as well as weddings and funerals at 100 attendees. Both of these measures will also come into place from midnight on Tuesday.

It comes as 95 per cent of all cases in South Australia in the last two weeks had originated from Victoria, including the three new cases the state reported this week.

"We've got to do everything we can now to protect ourselves against seeding from Victoria coming across that border," says Marshall.

"There are currently in excess of 100 outbreaks in Victoria. This is of great concern to us, most importantly of concern is that the vast majority of the cases which have been identified in recent weeks are still under investigation.

"We do remain very concerned about what is happening in Victoria. We have a hard border arrangement with Victoria; we do not plan to lift this anytime soon."

There will still be some exemptions for travellers coming across the border into SA including for essential workers, but applications for exemptions will need to be approved by SAPOL.

SA's Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier today confirmed that her department has received more than 100 applications for COVID management plans in recent weeks.

COVID management plans are currently mandatory for certain businesses classified as 'high risk' to operate.

Of those 100 the department has determined 60 are to do with 'high risk' activities. As such, the department will hold off on approving the applications "for a couple of weeks" while the state observes the situation in Melbourne.

However, in good news for local footy fans, Suprrier announced today that the department has signed off on seven COVID management plans from the SANFL, meaning spectators can go out and watch the footy once again.

"Now you might say 'How can that be?' when the Premier has just announced that in fact we are reducing caps on these family gatherings," says Spurrier.

"The SANFL, obviously with football, is outside so that is lower risk.

"But at least we have some good news for footy fans and our local footy fans that there are going to be larger numbers allowed from this weekend for the SANFL."

Updated at 3:28pm AEST on 24 July 2020.

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