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  • Jason Regan

SA virus cases fall as restrictions ease

South Australia has reported another five more deaths of people with COVID-19, as the state moves to reduce some local restrictions.

From Saturday density limits in hospitality venues will rise from 25 per cent to 50 per cent for seated patrons.

SA will also reintroduce paediatric elective surgery and scrap the mandatory use of QR codes at retail stores, including supermarkets.

The codes will remain in place for high-risk settings such as hospitals, and across the hospitality sector.

Premier Steven Marshall said the latest modelling of the Omicron outbreak showed the changes would not lead to another surge in virus cases, even with next week's return to school.

He said the general decline in daily case numbers was expected to continue.

"We're very satisfied with the way we are working in South Australia. Working positively together means we can reduce these restrictions," he said.
"We are 100 per cent convinced this is the right way to go."

Mr Marshall said the changes would help create jobs, particularly across the hospitality sector.

He said it was expected the further easing of local restrictions would now be considered on a fortnightly basis.

Most of SA's current restrictions were imposed in late December when modelling suggested the state could have up to 40,000 COVID-19 cases a day if no action was taken.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the restrictions introduced were measured and responsible.

"We may be seen as conservative, but if you look at the track record of South Australia's management of COVID-19 I think we can hold our heads up pretty high," he said.
"We are taking sensible, well-considered steps towards getting back to normal as quickly as possible and as safely as possible." 

SA's new cases on Friday were below the state's seven-day average of 2047 while hospitalisations also fell marginally to 285. Of those, 24 were in intensive care and four remained on ventilators.

SA Health said the state's five more deaths were of one man and four women, all in their 80s, as active infections fell to 24,612.


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