WA has Covid restrictions eased further so that venues can now operate at 75% capacity; travel from Victoria into W.A. also eased

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has announced the latest public health advice which aims to encourage more people into venues so as to support local businesses.

The changes, which come into effect from midnight Monday, March 15, will see an increased capacity of up to 75 per cent at outdoor and indoor venues including restaurants, cafes, food courts, and public bars.

The three-quarter capacity rule will also apply to indoor and outdoor stadiums, auditoriums and amphitheatres, and to concert halls, and theatres including cinemas.

Places of worship, community halls and function centres will also be allowed to be three-quarters full. Of course it’s nice and timely with the WA elections coming up in a week’s time, and many of these venues already being utilised as voting centres.

“Increasing the capacity limit to 75 per cent capacity for both indoor and outdoor venues including restaurants, clubs, cafés, bars and places of worship will benefit patrons as well as boost business,” said McGowan.

“These changes can now be made due to the hard work of Western Australians, which has enabled the virus to be controlled and ensured there is no community spread in WA. “

If the two-square metre rule is greater than 75 per cent capacity, the greater option will be permitted for venues.

The two-square metre rule will continue to apply to all other unfixed seating venues including including nightclubs, music festivals, food festivals, libraries, recreation centres, amusement parks, gyms and art galleries. Phew!

Casino and gambling venues will also have to stick to the two-square metre rule.

In other restriction news, Victoria will transition from ‘low risk’ to ‘very low risk’ at 12.01am the same Monday, pending no further outbreaks. Under the ‘very low risk’ category, safe travel is permitted into WA subject to the following updated conditions:

  • Completion of a G2G Pass declaration, stipulating they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms and which jurisdictions the traveller has been in over the previous 14 days;
  • All Perth Airport arrivals to undergo a health screening and temperature test;
  • Travellers to be prepared to take a COVID-19 test at the airport COVID clinic, if deemed necessary by a health clinician (voluntary asymptomatic testing also available); and
  • Land arrivals to be met at the border checkpoint, for a health screening and to have their G2G Pass declaration checked. 

This is the first time all Australian jurisdictions have been classified ‘very low risk’ category under WA’s controlled border arrangements while it’s a positive outcome following the application of safe public health measures.

WA’s international arrival cap increased from 512 to 900 this week, as agreed with the Commonwealth. The cap will then increase further and return to 1,025 from March 26 – making WA the state accepting the most returning Australians per capita.

Since early January, WA has been taking 512 arrivals from overseas each week because of the heightened risks associated with the concerning COVID situations overseas.

Again, pending no further outbreaks, these changes will all come into effect from 12.01am on Monday, March 15.

Antonino Tati

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