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No changes but Adelaide Oval capacity increase ‘on the table’

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An increase to 100 per cent capacity at Adelaide Oval is “on the table” with further discussions to take place this week, but there have been no changes to South Australia’s public gathering restrictions after a meeting of the state’s transition committee this morning.

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Attendance at the Oval is currently capped at 40,000, roughly 75 per cent of full capacity, with the Showdown between Adelaide and Port Adelaide less than three weeks away.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Noel Bamford today said SA Health are in discussions with the Adelaide Oval on an increase to capacity limits.

Bamford said it was up to SA Health, which administers the stadium’s COVID-management plan, to determine what the new capacity limit will be.

“That’s really up to Health to decide,” Bamford told reporters today.

“But clearly, looking at what’s going on in other jurisdictions, up to 100 per cent (capacity) is on the table.”

The Western Australian Government last week allowed a full capacity crowd to attend Optus Stadium, which holds 60,000 people, while the Victorian Government are weighing up whether to lift capacity restrictions on the 100,000 seat MCG before Anzac Day.

Asked when a decision may come down on Adelaide Oval, Bamford said “there’ll be further discussions this week”.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier did not respond to questions this morning after leaving the transition committee meeting.

Under the Adelaide Oval’s current COVID management plan, patrons must wear masks when entering, exiting and moving around the stadium.

Bamford said a decision to lift this mask requirement would depend on what other precautions are in place at the venue.

“The wearing of masks is part of a range of precautions that are taken in these large venues,” he said.

“It will depend on what other precautions are being taken or not taken as to whether masks will need to continue to be worn.”

Adelaide Oval patrons are also required to check in at the stadium and any associated hospitality venues, and are seated in isolated pods of 120 people.

Bamford said police would provide a proportionate increase in officers policing the crowd if the ground’s capacity limit were to increase.

“We’ll have a look at what the level of crowds are expected,” he said.

“Just because it’s 100 per cent capacity doesn’t mean that that’s what they’ll get to.

“So we’ll provide enough police to meet the needs of the of the crowd that’s there.”

Meanwhile, talks on a quarantine facility for international students arriving in Adelaide are progressing, with an announcement expected “in the very near future”.

“There is an international student committee or working group that meets weekly, and they’re progressing very well with their preparations to commence returning international students,” Bamford said.

“I’m aware that the working group has been investigating a number of options in relation to a quarantine facility in South Australia, and they are making very good progress on a particular site which I’m not able to announce, but they’re just making sure it is suitable and it is appropriate.”

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