Time for Premier Marshall to make “Captain’s call” on lifting restrictions: SA-BEST

9 June 2020

SA-BEST today called on Premier Steven Marshall to step in and make a “Captain’s call” to further lift COVID-19 restrictions in South Australia. 

SA-BEST MLC and Sport and Recreation spokesperson, Frank Pangallo, said while he welcomed today’s decision by the State Co-Ordinator and SAPOL Commissioner, Grant Stevens, to allow up to 2000 fans – and another 240 people in  corporate boxes – to attend Saturday night’s AFL Showdown at Adelaide Oval, the measures announced don’t go far enough. 

He said SA-BEST backed calls from Business SA to the State Government to immediately allow other businesses – like those in hospitality and tourism that are reliant on large customer numbers to survive - to also be included in the loosening of restrictions. 

And he is calling on Premier Marshall to release a detailed timetable outlining a pathway to the total lifting of restrictions. 

“It’s time for the Premier to make a Captain’s call to allow an array of other businesses to increase their clientele numbers,” Frank said. 

“At the moment there is no consistent policy – last weekend’s protest rally had unrestricted numbers, the Showdown has been capped at 2000 fans for some reason – but an exemption for a second protest rally planned for this week has been refused,” he said. 

“At the moment, confusion reigns. If 2000 fans can go to the Showdown, why can’t the number of patrons at pubs, clubs and restaurants be increased beyond the current limits of a maximum of 80 people in four separate areas. 

“Restrictions must also be lifted on funerals, weddings, and arts and entertainment events – but especially funerals – as a matter of urgency.” 

Frank said South Australia should follow the lead of New Zealand which has lifted almost all its COVID-19 restrictions after no active cases being reported in the country for more than two weeks.

Under new rules in NZ, social distancing is not required and there are no limits on public gatherings – however borders remain closed to foreigners. 

“South Australia has led the world – and the rest of the country – in fighting this dreaded virus,” Frank said. 

“With no active cases of COVID-19 in South Australia and community transmission of the virus virtually eliminated in this state, it is time for the Premier to lead from the front and make strong and decisive decisions on a timetable to lifting all restrictions,” he said.

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