Business Hopes for COVID-19 Ease in South Australia

Business Hopes for COVID-19 Ease in South Australia
A medical worker (centre L) speaks to people queueing outside a COVID-19 testing venue at The Royal Melbourne Hospital in Melbourne on July 16, 2020. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

South Australia's peak business group is hoping the pain caused by renewed COVID-19 restrictions is short-lived as efforts continue to bring a COVID-19 cluster under control.

Business SA Chief Executive Martin Haese says the sector understand the impact the new measures will have on so many operators.

"But at this moment in time, a swift and decisive response is needed," he said.

"The state government has made these decisions in the best interests of keeping South Australians safe, and ensuring any economic impact is mitigated to the greatest extent possible.

"We are reassured by the premier's comments that increased restrictions will not last a day longer than necessary."

Restrictions imposed this week include cuts to the number of patrons allowed in pubs, clubs and restaurants and closing of some businesses including gyms.

They come as the number of virus infections linked to the Parafield cluster grew to 20 on Nov. 17.

Another confirmed case is still being investigated and health officials have also identified another 14 people who are considered at high risk of having the virus.

"This is a very, very worrying situation. I'm not going to underestimate the concern I have about this," Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said.

She urged all people to carefully consider their movements and stay home whenever possible to help limit the spread of the virus.

She also advocated the increased use of masks for people moving about in the community.

Testing of the genetic material from the Parafield cluster has officially been linked to a medi-hotel in Adelaide and was confirmed to have come from a person who returned from overseas on November 2.

The cluster has forced more than 4000 people into quarantine or home isolation, mostly close contacts of confirmed cases.

It's also prompted thousands to queue for hours at testing stations with more than 10,000 tests conducted over the past two days.

Haese says the business community stands with the decision by health experts to "go hard and go fast" in response to the cluster.

"It has been heartening to see businesses pivot swiftly and adapt their operations, as they did the first time around," he said.

By Tim Dornin