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SA public servants told to return to the office

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Public sector employees are being advised to return to the office, with the State Government removing a cap that that had required 50 per cent to work from home.

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It comes as South Australia yesterday recorded 1358 new COVID cases and the death of a man in his 80s who had tested positive.

Treasurer and Public Sector Minister Rob Lucas last night said he had decided to remove the 50 per cent density limit for non-essential public sector workers, with government agencies now encouraged to return their employees to the office “safely”.

He said it would provide much-needed stimulus and activity for CBD businesses that rely heavily on support from office workers.

“While we don’t expect this decision will result in 100 per cent of eligible employees returning to the office, given the sector’s support for flexible working arrangements, we do expect there will be a significant uplift in numbers returning to the city, safely,” Lucas said.

“This will be welcome news for many CBD businesses, particularly cafes, restaurants, pubs and other retailers, who rely on foot traffic and support from office workers.”

Lucas said employees would still need to adhere to COVID-safe practices, including maintaining physical distancing and washing or sanitising hands regularly and masks would be required where physical distancing can’t be maintained.

Property Council SA executive director Daniel Gannon welcomed the announcement and said private sector businesses should follow suit.

“This is a great decision and one that will be welcomed with open arms by CBD landlords, retailers, and small business owners,” he said.

“It’s important to remember that it is safe to leave your house, it is safe to have dinner in the city, it is safe to return to the workplace – and there is now no longer any density impediment stopping you.”

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