With Adelaide having recorded 23 new COVID-19 cases in the last 48 hours, all linked to an outbreak in the city’s northern suburbs, the South Australian government has moved quickly to contain the outbreak by re-introducing a raft of restrictions that will be in place for “at least the next two weeks.”

Among the raft of measures aimed at curtailing what could turn into a second wave are strict limits on social gatherings, with no more than 10 people allowed to visit homes. While hospitality venues will now be capped at 100, with group bookings permitted for no more than 10 patrons with stand-up drinking also back off the cards.

Addressing media on Monday, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said that “it is likely that we will have these directions in place for two weeks, of course, if we can remove them early, we certainly will.

“The health expert’s advice at the moment is very clear – we are to act hard and early and keep these restrictions in place for a shorter period of time.”

Marshall went on to advise South Australian’s to work from home wherever possible and wear a mask when they cannot socially distance, such as while using public transport.

Of course, this news comes perhaps no more devastating to Adelaide’s only recently re-opened creative and events industries. In particular Adelaide’s long-standing celebration of queer arts and culture, Feast Festival – who up until Monday’s devastating announcement – were in the swing of this year’s 2020 festival season as the first multi-arts festival to take place since the pandemic first hit Australia in March.

 Most disappointing is that Feast Festival’s much-loved, closing event for this year’s program Picnic In the Park – that was originally scheduled for Sunday, November 29 – has now been cancelled.

“The COVID resurgence in SA is devastating news. Picnic In the Park is the final event for Feast Festival, attracting over 3,500 people and connecting LGBTQI and allied communities in a vibrant celebration of inclusivity and diversity,” said Feast CEO Helen Sheldon in a statement released by the festival this afternoon.

“As distressing as this decision has been, we understand that this is the right course of action to ensure the health and safety of everyone”

So far 41 events have already taken place since the program launched on Thursday, October 8. With a further 18 events mid-way through their season or art exhibition. With another 45+ events yet to present their event. This year Feast Festival boasted over 100 registered events.

Sheldon added that, “We [the festival] are working with our artists, event organisers and venues who still have registered events in the festival program that meet the current restrictions, however the final decision to cancel or continue to present the event will be at the discretion of the event organiser and venue.”

With this in mind, ticket holders are being encouraged to check the Feast Festival website for the most up to date information regarding those events as a number of them may proceed with reduced capacity, be moved online, postponed or cancelled entirely.

Feast will be in touch with those that had purchased a ticket to Picnic In The Park to either offer a refund on their purchase or to offer them the opportunity to turn their ticket purchase into a much-needed donation towards Feast Festival’s ongoing work for and within Adelaide’s LGBTQI communities.

For further details about changes to Feast events and tickets due to COVID please head to www.feast.org.au

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