Hospitality, retail and takeaway to close, as South Australia enters six-day COVID-19 ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown

Steven Marshall

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants in South Australia will be forced to close for six days, even for takeaway, from 12.01am Thursday, as the state government tries to get a cluster of COVID-19 cases under control.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has laid out a “circuit breaker” plan, shutting the state down almost entirely in order to stop the spread of the virus.

It means hospitality businesses will not be able to trade at all.

SmartCompany understands that non-essential retail businesses will also be forced to close.

South Australians are only able to leave their homes to buy groceries, or if they are essential workers.

Retail stores have not been included in the list of activities that can continue.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier also noted that shopping centres would only be open to allow access to supermarkets and pharmacies.

The measures apply to the entire of the state, not only Adelaide, where the recent cluster is centred.

Schools will also be closed, with exceptions allowed for the children of essential workers or vulnerable children.

The construction industry is also set to be shut down entirely for the six days, and real estate inspections will not be able to go ahead.

And, factories will be closed, with the exception of food and medical facilities. Workers will, however, be able to access closed factories in order to prevent damage to machinery.

Aged care and disability residential care facilities will be in lockdown.

Weddings and funerals have been banned for six days.

Individual restrictions will be tighter than we have seen in other Australian lockdowns, including in Victoria.

Only one person from each household may leave the house, once per day, and only to buy groceries or for essential work.

The full list of valid reasons to leave home has not been finalised, chief commissioner Grant Stevens said.

But, all outdoor sport has also been banned, including individual exercise.

South Australia has also taken the step to make face masks mandatory outside of the home.

Regional travel is not permitted, even if it’s for residents to return home. In essence, for South Australians, wherever you are at midnight tonight is where you must remain for the next six days.

Marshall said the break was needed to allow “breathing space for a contact tracing blitz”.

“This is about South Australia pausing so that we stay ahead of the virus,” he said.

“Our concern is that if we don’t have this circuit breaker, that we will not stay ahead of this.”

This lockdown comes in response to a cluster of COVID-19 cases in Parafield, Adelaide. As of Wednesday, 22 cases have been linked to this cluster.

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