While the state’s “COVID-ready” plan will see domestic borders removed on November 23 and shorter quarantine requirements for international travellers, the only other restriction that will lift next month is the cap on home gatherings, which will increase from 20 to 30 people.
The roadmap states that once 90 per cent of over-12s in South Australia are vaccinated, restrictions “on most activities” will be lifted while dancing, stand-up drinking and nightclub will be “only available to people who are fully vaccinated”.
Australian Hotels Association SA Branch CEO Ian Horne said the new 90 per cent target “came as a shock” to the industry.
“It’s not an overstatement to say that the industry ranges from disappointed to bitterly disappointed,” he said.
“I guess the bigger issue is, let’s assume we do reach 90 per cent somewhere around Christmas, there is no detail as to what happens then.
“It’s a document that hasn’t brought a lot of joy to the hospitality industry.”
Horne said the restrictions were “unnecessarily harsh” given the restrictions roadmaps of Victoria and New South Wales, and the live music industry would continue to suffer.
Business SA Director of Policy and Advocacy Andrew McKenna said the restrictions roadmap was concerning given the hospitality industry is about to enter its busiest period
“What we are disappointed to see is there no reprieve for the hospitality sector heading into their busiest season,” McKenna said.
“That’s something we would like to see addressed or some additional financial support.”
The state’s chamber of commerce also says it is seeking further clarity on how the requirement for patrons to be vaccinated will affect hospitality business operators.
Business SA CEO Martin Haese said: “In this scenario, workplaces will have to force their staff to be vaccinated to comply with this rule, which will in effect be the same as an unofficial government mandate”.
“We are concerned that without a government-enforced mandatory vaccination program in place for certain industries, a 90 per cent double dose rate may be too ambitious for South Australia to achieve in a timely manner,” he said.
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