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SA to ease more virus measures in weeks

SA COVID-19
The changes will be after Christmas but before the end of the year, Commissioner Grant Stevens says. Photo: AAP
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South Australians will soon know what local COVID-19 restrictions will be eased when vaccine rates reach 90 per cent but the changes are now unlikely before Christmas.

The state’s transition committee met on Tuesday to consider setting the date for the relaxation of measures and what those changes will be, with details expected to be revealed within the next few days.

SA is forecast to hit its 90 per cent target for those aged 12 and over 12 by the end of the year, but not before December 25.

“We are working, as a collective, to come up with the optimum date to provide some clarity for people in South Australia on when things will be changing, based on the modelling in relation to when we are likely to hit 90 per cent,” Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said.

“I was hopeful that it was going to be before but the indicators are at this stage that it will be after Christmas but before the end of the year.”

Based on the latest state government figures 91.1 per cent of South Australians 12 and over had had at least one dose of the vaccine and 84.2 per cent are double dosed.

Among the changes to restrictions will be an easing of density rules and attendance caps.

On Monday, SA dropped the extended quarantine requirements for close contacts of COVID-19 Omicron cases.

SA has at least two confirmed cases of the new variant, and its arrival last week prompted the state government to increase the isolation requirement for close contacts at exposure sites from seven to 14 days.

But after a meeting of chief health officers from across the country, SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the isolation requirement for those fully vaccinated would return to seven days.

They are still required to have a day 13 virus test, must not attend high-risk settings or COVID management plan events and must wear a surgical mask when around other people.

Anyone unvaccinated will still be required to quarantine or 14 days.

“This change will align with our response to Delta cases in South Australia and will be more practical to implement given that at some point it will not be possible to differentiate between these strains as the case numbers increase,” Professor Spurrier said.

– AAP