Two months from Christmas, Adelaide publican Simone Douglas says the South Australian government’s COVID-Ready plan is nothing short of a “roadmap to ruin”.   

Key points:

  • Most COVID-19 business restrictions will be eased when the vaccination rate reaches 90 per cent
  • Businesses fear they will have to police restrictions on unvaccinated people
  • There has been no detail on events being able to restrict who can attend

Premier Steven Marshall yesterday revealed details of the plan, which has been pitched as the roadmap to reopening the state and managing coronavirus in the community.  

While border restrictions for double-vaccinated people will ease from November 23, the vast majority of restrictions currently imposed on activities will continue until 90 per cent of the SA population aged 12 and over is fully vaccinated. 

Ms Douglas, who owns the Duke of Brunswick Hotel in the CBD, said she was hoping the restrictions banning standing consumption and dancing indoors would be lifted so the business could try to recover from its pandemic losses in the lead-up to Christmas. 

“It’s a dead end for hospitality. There’s no roadmap there,” she said. 

People will have to stay seated while drinking for now.(ABC News )

During yesterday’s press conference, Mr Marshall said he was hopeful the state would reach the 90 per cent mark and be able to remove the restrictions before Christmas. 

“It’s too late. That’s the end of the season,” Ms Douglas said. 

“The Transition Committee, it’s not just him, just literally cancelled our peak trading season — that’s the season that gets 80 per cent of hospitality businesses through winter … 

According to the COVID-Ready plan, activities deemed at “high risk” of spreading the virus, such as dancing and standing while drinking, will only be available to people who are fully vaccinated

Exactly how the rule will be policed was not made clear. 

Department of the Premier and Cabinet chief executive Nick Reade shows a digital vaccination certificate on his phone.(Twitter: @NickReade)

Ms Douglas said it was not fair the responsibility would fall on business owners. 

“As a business owner, I need to make a decision about whether I allow standing consumption and check and have security at every one of my eight entrances — at $30 to $40 an hour per person to make sure that only vaccinated people come into my venue — or I can have seated consumption and let non-vaccinated people in,” she said. 

Border openings welcomed

Andrew McKenna from Business SA welcomed the setting of a date to reopen SA’s borders. 

“We can start to get skilled workers that we need back in here, we can start to get international tourists, we can get tourists back, and that’s a really big plus for the whole economy,” Mr McKenna said. 

Mr McKenna said the message from businesses in relation to policing patrons’ vaccination status had been loud and clear. 

This morning, the Premier said CBD businesses in particular would benefit from the borders opening.

“I do appreciate there are some sectors that continue to do it very tough and that’s why we want to open those borders up,” Mr Marshall said.

Council of Australian Tour Operators chairman Dennis Bunnik says the tourism sector will not start to recover until restrictions are lifted. (ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

Council of Australian Tour Operators chairman Dennis Bunnik said the ongoing restrictions continued to deter tourists. 

“It’ll be easier for us to send people to Egypt, to Europe, to Japan for tours than it is to run tours in Australia,” he said. 

Mr Bunnik said the tourism sector was unlikely to see any sort of financial recovery until well into next year. 

Vaccinated international travellers arriving in South Australia from November 23 will have to do a seven-day quarantine, while others will have to do 14 days.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said children under 12 would be treated as though they were vaccinated.

No details yet for events

Yesterday’s announcement did not include details on whether organisers of state government-run events such as the Adelaide Festival could ban unvaccinated people from their audiences.

The co-artistic directors of the festival had hoped for a rule allowing them to operate at 100 per cent capacity if they limited crowds to the inoculated.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens hinted more detail might come ahead of the festival and the Adelaide Fringe, both held early next year.

“I don’t think we’re there yet in terms of what mandated or fully vaccinated events looks like,” he said.

The Lions Art Factory is hoping to welcome back big crowds once again.(Supplied)

The Lion Arts Factory live music venue is stuck at 25 per cent capacity and just one show a week.

Co-owner Craig Lock said Christmas was too long to wait.

“One thumb up and one thumb down,” he said.

“I think we’re right in the middle of surviving with the money that they’ve given us, but on the other hand, we’re very concerned that we won’t be trading in a viable way for potentially four or five months.”

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Do we really need booster vaccines for COVID-19?

Loading form…

Posted , updated