ADELAIDE, Australia — South Australia’s week-long Covid-19 lockdown has officially ended with the state’s peak business group saying it’s time for traders to “rebuild once again”.
The lockdown ended at one minute past midnight on July 28 amid confidence the latest cluster of Covid-19 infections has been contained.
Business SA chief executive Martin Haese says 2500 emergency support payments have already gone out to local companies that are unlikely to salvage any of the money lost from the forced closure over the past seven days.
But he said it was clear the short, sharp lockdown had saved South Australia from “a world of pain like we are seeing in New South Wales”.
South Australia reported no new cases on July 27, with Premier Steven Marshall saying that was a “huge relief” and vindication of the state’s “go hard and go early” approach to combating Covid-19 clusters.
“We don’t put these restrictions in place lightly, but if we didn’t we would be in a very different situation,” he said.
The state has kept a range of heightened restrictions including a general density requirement of one person to every four square meters or 43.05 square feet.
Masks must be worn in high-risk settings, such as aged care centers and personal care services, in medical services, on public transport, and in all indoor public places, including supermarkets.
All food and drink consumption must be seated and dancing and singing remain banned.
Family gatherings are limited to 10 people, although weddings and funerals can have up to 50.
Schools will reopen on July 28 and secondary students will also be required to wear masks.
Sports training can resume, but competitions will be delayed until August 7.
The new restrictions will remain in place for at least a week.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said South Australians deserved a “10 out of 10” score for their response to the lockdown.
“It’s something the community should be incredibly proud of. We got through this difficult time,” he said.
“It happens because everybody did their part in minimizing the potential for this virus to spread.”
Stevens said he was absolutely certain South Australia did the right thing in moving to a rapid shutdown last week.
“The decision was sound and based on strong evidence and advice,” he said.
With no new cases, South Australia’s Modbury cluster of Covid-19 cases stands at 19 confirmed infections, with 11 of those linked to the Tenafeate Creek winery near One Tree Hill.
It began with an 81-year-old man who recently arrived in Australia from Argentina and was quarantined in Sydney before traveling to Adelaide, where he tested positive.
Edited by Saptak Datta and Krishna Kakani
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