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Restrictions relaxed for bars, weddings, funerals and footy

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Wedding and funeral caps will lift from 100 to 150 guests, up to 15,000 football fans will be able to gather at Adelaide Oval and hotel quarantine will be boosted under changes to COVID-19 restrictions in South Australia announced by Premier Steven Marshall this afternoon.

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Marshall said after this morning’s transition committee and national cabinet meetings that the Government had decided to ease a series of restrictions commensurate with the reduced risk of COVID-19 spread.

From midnight tonight, the current cap of 100 guests at weddings and funerals will increase to 150 people, while Adelaide Oval’s current capacity limit of 10,000 people will increase to 15,000 from this weekend.

Marshall said the Government was looking to “progressively” increase the Adelaide Oval limit to a maximum of 25,000 people, depending on the success of the Adelaide versus Greater Western Sydney match on Tuesday.

He said authorities had also decided to “remove the narrative” that people needed to work from home unless they needed to be at their workplace.

“You should go back to work provided your company… has a business continuity plan in place and has strict ways of managing those common areas,” he said.

“We’ve seen some very good interactions with companies in South Australia where they break their workforce into two or three or four different groups that don’t come into a lot of contact, so that if there is an outbreak within one group, it won’t necessarily effect the entire workforce.”

As of midnight tonight, pubs will also allowed to serve both food and drink at bars, provided patrons remain seated and there is no food preparation at the bar.

The one person per two-square-metre density limit in licensed venues has not changed.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said after today’s national cabinet meeting that he wanted all states, including South Australia, to increase their hotel quarantine capacity for Australians returning from overseas.

Currently, almost 4000 Australians arrive back to the country from overseas every week.

Marshall said South Australia was “certainly very supportive of that”.

“We will be making plans over the next month to gradually, carefully, incrementally increase our capacity.

“Many thousands of South Australians are still stranded overseas and I know that loved ones would love to see them coming back.”

South Australia has a current maximum capacity of around 500 passengers coming into hotel quarantine each week, but Marshall said the state hadn’t hit that limit yet.

“But we would like to get up to our capacity and if possible, increase it further,” he said.

The Government announced no changes to its border restritions with the ACT, New South Wales or Victoria today.

But Marshall said the Government was considering allowing people currently in Victoria to travel into South Australia “with good reason”, provided they quarantine.

He said New South Wales and the ACT were doing “extremely well” at limiting the spread of COVID-19, “but what we would like to see in South Australia is a period of time where there is no community transmission”.

He flagged the state’s border restrictions with NSW and the ACT could be lifted in time for the upcoming school holidays.

“We are always putting the health concerns of South Australia first and foremost, but we know that even that soft border arrangement with New South Wales, which is 14-days of self-isolation – not hotel supervised quarantine – is still a major impediment for business and family reunions.

“The ACT is not a problem, it’s NSW, but again we are super pleased to see NSW tracking down.

“There was a spike a few weeks ago….but the authorities really put a net on top of it very quickly.”

Marshall said South Australia had agreed with a national decision to make Australia a “COVID-safe” environment by December.

But he said not all decisions made by the national cabinet this morning were unilaterally agreed upon.

“I think we are moving in a direction where we can have respectful bilateral, multilateral agreements, not necessarily only national agreements,” he said.

“This was one of the problems if you like associated with COAG, where every single jurisdiction had to agree otherwise there was no progress.

“What we are realising is that we need to be moving forward and that doesn’t necessarily mean every jurisdiction moving at exactly and precisely the same pace.”

There are no new COVID-19 cases in South Australia today and currently no active cases.

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