Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

The South Australian government will announce its COVID-19 reopening plan this afternoon.

The government has promised that the borders will reopen to Victoria, NSW and ACT when the state reaches 80 per cent fully vaccinated, but has not yet released any details.

The target is expected to be reached in early December.

Prime Minister Steven Marshall, Health Minister Stephen Wade, Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier and Police Commissioner Grant Stevens are expected to speak around 13:15 ACDT.

The “COVID-Ready” roadmap is also expected to include details on benefits for people vaccinated against COVID-19, such as being allowed to attend major events.

Stevens said a lot of work had gone into developing the plan.

“That work has included evidence provided by the Doherty Institute, good judgment from those involved in the transition committee, and it contributes in a way to the confidence we need to have going forward when we hit 80 percent, so it’s very productive meetings and people have done their job properly, “he said.

Two men stand in front of a van and a large RM Williams truck
Health Minister Stephen Wade is promoting a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the RM Williams plant in Salisbury South last week.(ABC News: Ben Pettitt)

Festival call for vaccine mandate

The artistic directors of the Adelaide Festival say it would help financially to require COVID-19 vaccinations to see shows at the event.

The Adelaide Festival is a statutory authority under the state government, so it must follow its policies.

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In contrast, the privately run WOMADelaide Festival – which is part of the Adelaide Festival – announced last week that it would require all participants to be fully vaccinated.

Venues are currently limited to 75 percent capacity, which Adelaide Festival artistic director Rachel Healy said was difficult to achieve financial success.

While saying it was “not our job” to tell the government what to do, Ms Healy said she hoped the new plan would allow a 100 percent capacity for venues that only accept fully vaccinated audiences.

“So if we can budget 100 percent and give the public the assurance that we can deliver the security that everyone is looking for, then that would be ideal.”

“We know the demand is there,” added artistic director Neil Armfield.

A concert venue with dancers and red lighting
Gravity and Other Myths returns to the Adelaide Festival for a performance called MACRO.(Delivered: Adelaide Festival)

French “better” venue policy

Ms Healy and Mr Armfield traveled to France, Germany and the UK to find shows and see how the vaccine rules worked in different countries.

In France, a vaccine is required to attend most venues, while UK venue owners choose whether or not to order a jab.

Neil and Rachel lean back in chairs in front of a stage in Elder Park.
Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy are joint artistic directors of the Adelaide Festival.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

Ms Healy said there was “no doubt” that the French way was better.

“Sitting in a 2,000-seat venue in France with 100 percent capacity where you look around and every single person around you you know is double-grown, it created a sense of security that I was safe when I could possibly be in a pandemic, “she said.

“In London, the uncertainty and not knowing if the place you were in required proof of vaccine, it meant there was not the same feeling of being as safe as you could be, and it really meant that people thought ‘I do not want to go to the theater, I might want to leave it for a few weeks and the houses were the most obvious indicator.’

Festival to begin with free show

The Adelaide Festival, which runs from March 4 to 20, is officially launched today.

It will feature 71 events, including nine world premieres and six Australian premieres.

The opening night features a free show at Adelaide Oval’s Village Green called MACRO by circus act Gravity and Other Myths in collaboration with Djuki Mala – formerly known as Chooky Dancers – and Scottish composer Aidan O’Rourke.

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