Sam duluk asks premier to assist gyms and fitness studios


23 September 2020 

Mr DULUK (Waite) (14:49): My question is to the Premier. Can the Premier please provide an update to the house on when gymnasiums and fitness centres in South Australia can turn their fans and water fountains on? Sir, with your leave and that of the house, I will further explain.

A local business from my electorate has approached my office to express their concerns that the current COVID restrictions are not in the best interests of their community. The fitness centre has brought to my attention that, as they move into warmer months, members of gyms require water fountains to stay hydrated and fans to assist with temperature control. Current COVID restrictions limit gymnasiums and fitness centres from using water fountains and fans.

The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL (Dunstan—Premier) (14:49): I thank the member for Waite for his question. There is no doubt that the restrictions that have been put in place have put an added burden on businesses in South Australia, also consumers in South Australia. But in every case, every restriction is put in place on the advice of SA Health and their number one priority is to keep our state safe, and that's exactly and precisely what they have done.

Can I say to the member for Waite that we are constantly looking at what is happening in other jurisdictions and what best practice looks like. In some instances, we have changed those restrictions over time and we have changed those restrictions in accordance with a diminished risk. So I will ask the Transition Committee to look at this issue. We know that we have asked consumers who go into gyms now to bring their own water container and not to use the changing facilities because we know that that reduces just one of those vectors, one of those ways that people can become infected.
We are at a lower level risk than where we were several months ago, so I am very happy to ask that question. In fact, I am very happy to follow up any questions that members have with regard to this area. We have, of course, announced that we are removing one of the very important restrictions tonight at midnight, and that is the removal of the border with New South Wales. It has been in place now for months and months and months.

We said that we wanted to remove it. We didn't want to keep it in place one day longer than we needed to. When we received that advice that there was a requirement for 14 days of no community transmission in New South Wales, we were counting down those days. It was an anxious sleep overnight because we didn't want, on the 14th day, to have an example of community transmission in New South Wales. Professor Nicola Spurrier confirmed with me earlier this morning that there was no community transmission. So, as of midnight tonight, one of those very heavy burden restrictions will be lifted. But I am very happy to follow up the suggestions, the questions, the queries that have been raised by the member for Waite and get back to him.