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  • Rikki Lambert

SA home gatherings lift from 10 to 50, venue restrictions ease

South Australia has moved into what it calls the second tranche of reduced COVID-19 related restrictions, quintupling the amount of people permitted at a home gathering.

Premier Steven Marshall insisted at a Thursday press conference he had always wanted restrictions to ease as soon as possible, saying:

"We did announce several weeks ago we would be lifting those restrictions in fortnightly tranches. This is our second, the first went extremely well.
"The hospital capacity is there, at the moment we have fewer people taking up those hospital beds and that's what's giving us confidence to lift these restrictions further.

Hospitality venues' capacity has been eased outdoors to 3 people per four square metres, as the following infographic explains:

Meanwhile, the Australian Techical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has confirmed it will deter the 'fully vaccinated' terminology in Australia, now referring to someone having 'up to date' vaccination status, depending on the recommended dosage from time to time.

Premier Marshall moved to allay concerns raised by the SA Nationals, Labor opposition and crossbenchers about the safety of voting at the state election. Nationals lead legislative council candidate Gary Johanson continued his party's campaign for a postal vote election, expressing concern about COVID-19 spreading via the election on Flow on Thursday afternoon:

"This will be the biggest mass gathering of people in this state since the covid came in - you can imagine this could set the virus off like wildfire.
"Look at what happened when the Spanish flu occurred (in the 1920s), we overcome it, everything was fine, we opened up the borders, got back to what they thought was normal life, second wave come in and wiped out thousands and thousands of people."

In the following podcast of Gary Johanson's interview, he addresses concerns about the vehicle inspection backlog first, then talks about the Nationals' push for a postal vote election:

New South Wales conducted an in-person local government election in December.

The Electoral Commission told Flow earlier this week that it was encouraging eligible South Australians to register for postal voting, while Premier Marshall said on Thursday afternoon the government would soon announce how the election would be conducted in a COVID-safe fashion:

"The police commissioner has been working on that with the Electoral Commissioner - I think we are only a few days away from putting forward a plan to ensure every eligible voter will have the opportunity to vote in the election."

Thursday's full press conference video appears below:


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