Former South African Prime Minister Jay Weatherill tests positive for COVID-19 after attending school reunion



Former South African Prime Minister Jay Weatherill tested positive for COVID-19 after attending an event over the weekend where other cases were present.

Mr Weatherill was at a school reunion Saturday in Norwood, on the eastern outskirts of Adelaide, with other interstate travelers.

Mr Weatherill now resides in Perth but has visited Adelaide in recent days after South Australia’s borders opened.

He attended a number of high-level meetings during his stay in South Africa, including with opposition leader Peter Malinauskas on Monday.

Mr Malinauskas said he would get tested and isolate for the time being.

“After learning this evening that Jay Weatherill had tested positive, I immediately left Parliament at 8:20 pm and went to Victoria Park to get tested,†he tweeted.

“I will be isolating while I await test results and further advice from SA Health.”

Mr. Weatherill, who works for Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation, was in Adelaide to begin an interstate tour as CEO of the foundation’s Thrive by Five campaign, promoting early childhood development.

He held a press conference on Monday morning and was due to speak at other events in Victoria in the coming days.

Earlier, SA Health confirmed that two South Australian men in their 50s caught the virus after attending a school reunion at the Bugs Children’s Theater in Norwood on Saturday night.

Mr. Weatherill attended the event and his case would be added to the other two.

These are the first cases of local transmission in South Australia since the state borders reopened eight days ago.

Mr Weatherill has been on Adelaide Radio since arriving and was seen on Monday having dinner with former MP John Rau and Mr Malinauskas at the Parlamento restaurant opposite the parliament.

Former South African Prime Minister Jay Weatherill meets opposition leader Peter Malinauskas and former Labor MP John Rau at the Parlamento restaurant.(Twitter: SA Liberal Media)

Mr Malinauskas said he had already decided to get tested before Mr Weatherill’s diagnosis was confirmed and revised his official schedule.

“After hearing this news, out of caution, I canceled my scheduled appearance for high school graduation tonight.”

While no other cases have been linked to it yet, the meeting at Theater Bugs is now shaping up as a potential spreading event.

Anyone who attended between 2 p.m. on Saturday and 2 a.m. on Sunday was ordered to get tested immediately and quarantine.

The site is now considered by SA Health as a “close contact exposure locationâ€.

Participants not vaccinated during the exposure period will be required to self-quarantine for “14 days since you were there”, while vaccinated contacts will be allowed out after seven days, but will then need to avoid high-risk environments, wear surgical masks and avoid vulnerable people.

A queue of cars at the Victoria Park COVID-19 testing station.
A queue of cars at the Victoria Park COVID-19 testing station on Wednesday evening.(ABC News: Rebecca Puddy)

The cases appear to have sparked yet another wave of COVID-19 testing at testing stations in Adelaide, with cars lining up outside the Victoria Park facility on Wednesday evening.

So far, five locations have been officially linked to the two men’s movements, and SA Health earlier updated its list of exhibition sites, which now included the Unley offices of Business SA, a wine bar and seafood restaurant in Glenelg, as well as a CBD cafe in Adelaide.

“While the cases are currently under investigation, we believe the virus was transmitted by an interstate traveler during the event,†SA Health said.


Exposure time

Type of exposure

Theater Bugs (clients), 79 Beulah Road, Norwood

Saturday November 27, 2 p.m. – 2 a.m. Sunday November 28

Close contact exhibition place

Business SA (participants in the introductory evening at level 1) 136 Greenhill Road, Unley

Tuesday November 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Close contact exhibition place

Seafood and grilled dishes from Cardone,
4/108, way to the pier,

Friday November 26 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Place of exposure by occasional contact

Hi espresso darling,
ground floor, 63 Pirie Street, Adelaide CBD

Friday November 26 from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Low-risk occasional contact location

Fourth (wine bar), 34 Jetty Road, Glenelg

Friday November 26 from 6.30 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Low-risk occasional contact location

Theater Bugs (clients), 79 Beulah Road, Norwood

Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 November from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Low-risk occasional contact location

South Australia also recorded a third case on Wednesday – a child who contracted his infection abroad and has been in quarantine since arriving.

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