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Pubs back open in SA after confusion

Pubs across South Australia are free to open after the state government moved to clear up confusion and further ease coronavirus restrictions.

The government has ruled all licensed venues can resume indoor trading immediately after initially limiting the change to selected cafes and restaurants, depending on their liquor licence.

Premier Steven Marshall conceded that had caused confusion across the sector.

“To clear up that confusion we are happy to provide a further relaxation of the arrangements in South Australia,” he said.

“Effective immediately, any establishment with indoor dining can avail themselves of the reduction in restrictions.”

Some restrictions will still apply, with alcohol only allowed to be served with a meal and all patrons must be seated.

Numbers will also be limited to 10 indoors and 10 outdoors.

The premier says it’s likely many pubs will still wait until further restrictions are eased on June 5, with the 20-person limit unlikely to be sufficient for bigger venues.

But he says it will offer smaller operators the choice.

However, the Labor opposition said the government’s handling of the issue had just caused more pain for businesses already hard hit by the pandemic.

“South Australians need clear, easily understandable communication about what is allowed to open and what is not,” opposition treasury spokesman Stephen Mullighan said.

“Instead, we’ve seen chaos, confusion and cancellations.”

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