SA looks to further ease COVID-19 limits

SA Premier Steven Marshall says discussions are underway about further easing virus regulations.
SA Premier Steven Marshall says discussions are underway about further easing virus regulations.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has toasted the reopening of the state's pubs, downing his first beer in three months and flagging the lifting of more coronavirus restrictions.

Licensed venues across the state opened on Monday, with a limit of 80 patrons at a time, divided across at least four areas.

Customers can also have a drink without ordering food, but must be seated.

Mr Marshall said authorities were looking to further lift COVID-19 measures with a particular focus on larger premises.

"We are looking at the issue of larger venues at the moment, not just in terms of hospitality but also in terms of community sports and venues like the art gallery, the zoo and churches in South Australia," the premier said.

"All those things are being worked through at the moment and we believe we are making great progress.

"South Australia is back open for business, the tills are ringing, the customers are coming back in and the employees are returning to work."

The premier visited the Alma Tavern at suburban Norwood on Monday, and had a beer with publican and former Adelaide AFL captain Mark Ricciuto.

"That was the first beer I've had for about three months," he said.

"It tasted really good."

Mr Ricciuto said shutting his venue down was tough and it was even tougher to continually drive by and see it empty with the lights out over recent weeks.

He said having a limit of 80 people at a time would not allow the tavern to make a profit, "but it's a step closer".

"A lot of customers have been itching to get back in and have a meal and a beer, so it's a good day forward.

"We're not really looking to make money for another month or so but that time will come."

Stage two of eased restrictions in SA also allows cinemas, theatres, galleries, museums, wineries, beauty salons and gyms to reopen.

Non-contact indoor and outdoor sport can resume while 50 people can attend a funeral.

The changes came as SA again recorded no new virus cases with the state's total remaining at 440 and only one of those is considered active.

Mr Marshall cautioned that any further lifting of restrictions was conditional on the state continuing to have few or no new cases of COVID-19 while maintaining a high level of testing.

"We're not going to go backwards in terms of the health outcomes," he said.

"So it's really super important that we do this in a careful and considered way."

So far SA Pathology has conducted 101,944 tests including 1038 on Sunday.

Australian Associated Press