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SA lockdown to lift but masks and some restrictions remain


Schools, hospitality venues, non-essential retail and gyms are set to reopen with some restrictions from midnight Tuesday, with Premier Steven Marshall announcing a “sensible pathway” out of South Australia’s week-long lockdown after reporting just one new coronavirus case linked to the Modbury cluster.

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Today’s new case is an 87-year-old man who visited the Tenafeate Creek winery exposure site and has been in quarantine since he was infectious.

A man in his 50s who recently returned from overseas and who has been in a medi-hotel since his arrival has also tested positive, but his case is deemed historical.

Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said the man who was at the winery has been moved to Tom’s Court medi-hotel with his wife, who is yet to test positive for COVID-19.

“Several more people” who were at the Greek on Halifax exposure site have also been moved to a medi-hotel, as they are considered at “high-risk” of becoming infectious.

There are now 19 positive cases linked to the Modbury cluster, about 80 exposure sites and two people – a man and woman aged in their 80s – currently in a stable condition in hospital.

“We may still be expecting to have some more cases for those people who were close contacts and who are in quarantine,” Spurrier said.

New restrictions to be in place for at least one week

It comes after the state’s transition committee held meetings yesterday afternoon and this morning to determine South Australia’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Marshall told reporters this morning that South Australia would ease its seven-day lockdown restrictions at one minute past midnight tomorrow night, provided there are no new unlinked coronavirus cases reported.

The new restrictions, likely to be in place for at least one week, include a return to a one person per four-square-metre density cap at public venues.

Hospitality venues will be able to reopen, but can only serve food and drinks to seated customers both indoors and outdoors.

Schools will reopen, while non-essential businesses, such as hairdressers, retail shops and entertainment venues, will be allowed to trade provided they comply with the one person per four-square-metre density cap.

Household and private gatherings will be capped at 10 people – including members of the household, but up to 50 people will be allowed to attend weddings and funerals.

Gyms can also reopen, but they will be limited to a one person per eight-square-metres density cap.

Shisha bars, dancing and singing will remain banned.

Authorities are yet to confirm where mask-wearing will be mandatory, but it is likely people will still need to wear a mask at high-risk settings such as aged care facilities, at personal care services such as hairdressers, when visiting health services and entertainment venues, and on passenger transport.

“We are really wanting there to be a really high-level, continued use of masks in our community,” Marshall said.

“It is one of our best protections, even when you’re with people that you know, high level mask usage will be what gives us the pathway to lower level restrictions in other areas.”

Authorities will also clarify tomorrow whether sport can resume on Wednesday, but Marshall said the Government “wants to see training resume and competition resume”.

“We’ve been messaging for quite some time now that we won’t be going directly back to where we were with the lowest level of restrictions in the country,” he said.

“We really do have a situation around the country which means that we’re on high alert even after the lockdown is lifted, so we do need to have a sensible pathway out.

“I think this setting is what we need to get as many people back to school, as many people back to work as we possibly can, so we’re going to have people back on construction sites, people back in hospitality, people back in retail as of Wednesday morning.

“If we continue to observe this restrictions, then we can look forward to the easing of restrictions further down the track.”

Authorities will provide a further update tomorrow to clarify the restrictions.

A near-deserted South-Eastern Freeway at 8:30 Wednesday morning. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Marshall said the transition committee discussed lifting restrictions further in regional parts of the state where there have been no coronavirus cases, but “ultimately it was resolved that we’ve gone into this as a state so we’ll come out of it as a state”.

“We have seen situations in other parts of the nation where there have been lower level restrictions in the country and that’s caused some cases there,” he said.

“We don’t want cases anywhere in South Australia, so we’re going to be coming out of this as a state.”

Authorities are yet to decide whether they will lift restrictions further next week, with Marshall saying they would consider the situation “one week at a time”.

“Let’s not forget it was only seven days ago… that we first learned about this case and we put some restrictions in place on the Monday,” he said.

“Now we want to come out of it (the lockdown), but we want to do it in a safe way – we don’t want to go a little bit too fast and then relapse.

“South Australians don’t want to be going in and out of this lockdown situation.”

More than 4000 South Australians remain in home quarantine after visiting tier one or two exposure sites.

They will need to remain in quarantine for the full 14 days, regardless of whether South Australia lifts its lockdown restrictions on Wednesday morning.

There were 17,260 tests processed yesterday.

SA Health has identified a new Tier 3 exposure site associated with a positive case of COVID-19 in Elizabeth Park overnight.

The exposure site is the Parks Shopping Centre on Yorktown Road on Tuesday, July 20 from 9.30am to 11am.

Anyone who visited the site at this time must get tested immediately and quarantine until they receive their first negative test.

Exposure areas at St Agnes, Surrey Downs, Smithfield, Modbury, Greenacres, and Gawler East have been revised and updated online with new times.

The current list of exposure locations is detailed below and is regularly updated.

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Victoria has recorded 11 new locally-acquired cases, all of which were in isolation for their entire infectious period.

The result has fuelled hopes that Victoria’s extended restrictions will also be eased as planned on Tuesday night.

However, the situation is worsening in New South Wales, with authorities in that state this morning reporting 145 new locally-acquired coronavirus cases. Of those, only 58 were in isolation their whole infectious period.

There are currently 156 COVID-positive people in hospital in NSW, including 44 in intensive care. The outbreak has so far claimed the lives of eight people.

The lockdown for Greater Sydney and four surrounding regions, now in its fifth week, is due to end on Friday but with the highly infectious Delta strain spiralling, there’s no reprieve in sight.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian this morning deflected reports the lockdown is likely to extend until mid-September, saying nothing had been decided.

Meanwhile, Queensland has recorded one new locally-acquired case of COVID-19 in a Gold Coast man who recently completed hotel quarantine.

The man in his 40s, who was fully vaccinated, recently arrived in the state from China and had completed 14-day hotel quarantine.

He tested negative before getting out of quarantine, but later developed symptoms at his Gold Coast home on July 13.

Authorities are yet to determine how the man became infectious.

– with AAP

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