With coronavirus restrictions being eased in stages, South Australians have plenty of questions about what they will be allowed to do and when they might be allowed to do it.
Jodie and Soda caught up with the state’s chief public health officer Dr Nicola Spurrier to ask where to from here, for South Aussies, and the AFL.
Listen to the full Q&A with Dr Nicola Spurrier here:
Are AFL clubs likely to be able to play in SA if the season gets underway in a month’s time?
Dr Spurrier: “I think that would be very unlikely. I mean my job is to keep South Australians safe and that’s at the forefront of my mind and that’s the sort of advice I’m giving.”
“For people coming from other states we have those quarantine requirements. And the absolute reason for doing that is that quarantine is the absolute safest way of reducing the risk when you’ve got somebody coming from an area where there’s a higher incidence of the disease to an area where there’s a lower risk. Doing a whole lot of testing, PCR testing doesn’t reduce the risk, it’s the 14 days quarantine that’s important.”
When are we likely to be able to travel overseas again?
Dr Spurrier: “I think that’s going to be a fairly long time away. Unfortunately, I had tickets for the Olympics, so that’s totally off the cards for me. But this is really one of the things that will be right down the track. We got in very early in Australia to shut the borders and it’s meant that we are in an absolutely fantastic position here. And it means that we can continue our lifestyle here in South Australia. I know we’ve got restrictions but people know we’re looking at easing those, but that really is right off the cards, sorry!”
“I think it would be [next year]. It would really depend how things are going in the rest of the world. This is a nasty, nasty virus and we are only learning things about it as more research is done and there’s been more experience. But, there’s things about this virus that make it really difficult to have any predictions at all.”
Are we likely to be adhering to 1.5m social distancing rules into next year too?
“I think that is the case. Certainly, handshaking and hugs those sorts of things, really we want to keep those sorts of behaviours to your immediate, intimate family members. I do think that we are going to have to have that social distancing for quite a long time to come.”
When might we be allowed to have more people at children’s birthday parties?
“Even at the moment in South Australia we can have gatherings of 10 people or less. So I think if you’re wanting to have a birthday party and you can keep to that number, then that’s fine. Really important to say to the other parents: ‘If your child’s unwell, don’t let them come.’”
For some restaurants, opening up for 10 person-outdoor dining is unfeasible. Is this rule likely to change before June?
“We’re working with the industries to look at people’s plans and risk mitigation and of course, we’ll be going to a larger amount of people, so 20 people, which makes it a little bit more feasible. I know, I appreciate there are larger venues that generally would have more people in them than that but we need to be taking baby steps and looking at our data and looking at our epidemiology here.”