South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall has promised that companies will receive an economic compensation package this week in response to tougher restrictions.
- The compensation package is expected to be completed today
- SA Premier has ruled out a lockdown, but says restrictions are needed
- He says the vaccine is less effective against stopping Omicron transmission
In a speech to ABC Radio, Mr Marshall said the details of the plan were still being finalized.
“Let’s just see what we’re announcing today, I’m not going to announce it in advance …” he said.
“I’ll meet again with the cashier this morning, then we’ll have it [state] cabinet this afternoon so we should be able to complete that package to support these companies,
“Especially the companies in the hotel and fitness sector that have been hardest hit.”
On Sunday, SA registered 774 new COVID-19 cases – 81 percent of which were Omicron – prompting authorities to reintroduce strict density limits on hospitality sites, gyms and home collections ahead of New Year’s Eve.
Cafes and restaurants saw their density limits cut from 75 to 25 percent – or one person per. 4 square meters.
Gyms and gyms had capacity constraints limited to one person per. 7 square meters.
A ‘different’ New Year’s Eve
Yesterday, SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier pleaded that this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration “should be the absolute quietest New Year’s Eve everyone has ever had”.
The Prime Minister reiterated this sentiment, warning that the Omicron variant poses a new risk.
“We are sending a strong message that this New Year’s Eve will be a different New Year’s Eve than others,” he said.
The premiere said decisions to continue with major events, such as Light Up New Year’s Eve at Rymill Park, were ultimately a matter for SA Health and event organizers.
“These decisions are made by Health, but a seated, ticketed outdoor event where people wear masks just can’t be compared to big house parties where people drink and dance and lose inhibitions and spread the virus,” he said.
All major events in South Australia must have a COVID Management Plan in place.
‘Vaccinations do not last’ against Omicron transmission
Part of Mr Marshall’s justification for tightening the restrictions days before they should ease is the ‘exponential increase’ in Omicron cases.
South Australia registered 1,472 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, with 37 people in hospital – five of them in intensive care.
The prime minister said modeling suggested that about 1 percent of people who contract the Omicron strain of COVID should be hospitalized, with up to 15 percent of those expected to go on intensive care.
“So our focus is on making sure we have the right capacity at our hospital, to make sure we can get as many vaccinations in the arms of South Australians, and it’s about curbing this so we do not get all the cases in one. walk. .”
He also suggested that booster shots, which are mandatory for frontline healthcare professionals, will also become a requirement in other contexts as protection against the Omicron variant declines.
However, the Prime Minister said the vaccination provided a higher level of protection against the severity of the disease.
“My strong message is, if you’re eligible for a booster, get that shot.”