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South Australia keen to open borders by Christmas

Premier Steven Marshall says it will be back to business as usual in South Australia when vaccination rates hit 80 per cent. Photo: AAP
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South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has thrown his full support behind the national COVID-19 recovery plan, indicating state lockdowns and lockouts will become a thing of the past before Christmas.

The plan that sees restrictions start to ease at vaccination rates of 70 and 80 per cent has caused some consternation among some states, but not SA.

“Once we get to double dose 80 per cent vaccination across South Australia we will certainly move away from state lockdowns,” Mr Marshall told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

“I think we will get to the double dose vaccination well before Christmas here in South Australia.”

Double dose vaccinations for people aged over 16 in SA are currently running at a fraction above 40 per cent.

He said he was not seeing much hesitancy to get vaccinated compared to a couple of months ago.

‘Tough period’ ahead

“There is a lot of time to go until we get to that position, but we do know that as we increase our vaccination rate we reduce that transmission rate, we reduce hospitalisation,” he said.

“It is going to be a tough period over the next three or four months.”

He also expects to move away from state lockouts, and more towards LGA and exposure site exclusions rather than whole of state.

The premier expects businesses may insist on people being vaccinated, but that is not something that will be endorsed by governments, unless it is agreed at the the national cabinet level.

Federal Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan welcomed Mr Marshall’s backing of the national plan.

“That’s wonderful news, in particular for our domestic tourism industry,” he told Sky News.

He said 660,000 jobs rely on people being above to move, particularly between state and territories.

-AAP