South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has announced a string of new restrictions that will be put in place across Adelaide and the rest of the state from midnight tonight (local time) as officials grapple with a deeply concerning COVID cluster that has seen 18 new cases diagnosed in the past 48 hours.
From tonight, all activities that require a COVID management plan will be forced to cease for at least the next two weeks. That directive covers all gyms, which will be forced to close, and community sport, which will be cancelled.
In addition, tighter restrictions on gathering numbers – particularly in the hospitality industry – will be enforced across the state.
From tonight, indoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to 10 people. Pubs and bars will have capacities capped at 100, with “vertical consumption” ruled out as well; all patrons at bars will be required to be seated.
Church sermons will have a 100-person cap placed upon them, and funerals will be limited to 50 mourners. Weddings will continue to have no cap on attendance, but all guests will have to be registered and recorded in accordance with track & trace protocols. A distancing requirement of one person per four square metres will be in effect for all hospitality services, as well as churches, funerals, and weddings.
A number of industries will also have mandatory face mask conditions imposed, including aged care and beauty. The latter of which includes hair salons, nail salons, and tattoo parlours. Staff will be required to wear a mask at all times while providing services in those businesses. Customers receiving services will only have the mask order strongly recommended; it will not be mandatory.
In addition, Marshall issued advice to all South Australians to work from home wherever possible, and to avoid any unnecessary travel.
Every state, except New South Wales, has already implemented some form of quarantine requirement on people travelling from South Australia in response to the growing coronavirus cluster. These responses range from rapid testing to fully fledged 14-day hotel quarantine orders.
State Government officials in Adelaide have also suspended the arrival of international flights into the state for the remainder of the week.
Of the 18 new cases recorded in the past 48 hours, the vast majority are linked to a single family cluster in Parafield Gardens. That cluster is believed to have been sparked by a guard working at a hotel quarantine site, who passed the virus on at home.
A lengthy list of at-risk locations has been published by SA Health, including several bus routes, shopping centres, and the Lyell McEwen Hospital Emergency Department.
Officials continue to monitor the situation closely. The new batch of restrictions is expected to be in place for at least two weeks.