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SA mask rules eased for indoor venues

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South Australian authorities have overnight slightly eased mask requirements for indoor venues while also imposing new restrictions on travel from the Byron Bay region in New South Wales.

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It comes after the state’s transition committee yesterday decided to go ahead with plans – flagged last week – to lift density caps on pubs, nightclubs, dancefloors and restaurants to 75 per cent capacity.

The committee also agreed to make minor amendments to the public activities direction to “make sure that it made sense to the community”, Deputy Police Commissioner Linda Williams told reporters on Tuesday.

Those amendments, released overnight, now include allowing churches and cinemas to host up to 75 per cent capacity without having to mandate that attendees wear masks.

This is an increase from the mask-wearing threshold of 50 per cent announced last week.

Meanwhile, the cross-border travel direction was also updated to list the Byron Bay Shire in NSW as a restricted zone, after five confirmed COVID-19 cases attended a party in the region while unknowingly infectious.

NSW Health has stepped up testing in the state’s north, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian telling the state to “brace” for more cases in the region.

A number of public health alerts have been issued for venues in the region, which is gearing up to host thousands of revellers for Bluesfest in the coming days.

Incoming travellers to SA from the Byron Bay council area – on or after last Friday, March 26 – now have to submit to a COVID-19 test on days one, five and 13 of their stay in South Australia.

They also have to isolate until they receive a negative result from their day one test, are prohibited from entering high risk settings such as aged care, and cannot enter an event in SA hosting more than 1000 people.

It comes after travellers from Greater Brisbane were shut out of SA from 5pm on Monday.

-with AAP

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