- After leaving a five-day lockdown, West Australia will observe new rules over a ten-day period
- Until Sunday, February 14, masks will remain mandatory under certain conditions
- These new rules will come in effect after 6:00 pm local time on Friday if no new cases are recorded
- Businesses will reopen, except nightclubs and Crown Casino
- Schools will open for term one on February 8
- Teachers and students at universities and secondary schools will wear masks
- Restaurants, pubs, and entertainment venues are restricted to 150 people excluding staff
- No new cases have been recorded since a quarantine breach prompted the lockdown
- McGowan and Health Minister Roger Cook told the public to use “common sense” when complying with restrictions over the next 10 days
West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has announced a list of rules to transition the state out of its five-day lockdown after no new cases of the virus were recorded.
Addressing the state at a press conference on Thursday night, McGowan revealed masks will remain mandatory under certain conditions, along with restrictions, until Sunday, February 14.
These rules will come in effect and the lockdown will lift if no new cases are recorded by Friday afternoon.
WA operated ten months without community spread of COVID-19 until community transmission of the disease via a quarantine security guard sent the state into lockdown last Sunday.
The new rules
- Masks will remain mandatory indoors and outdoors, but people can now leave their homes
- Masks are not required during vigorous outdoor exercise
- All businesses can reopen, except nightclubs and the Crown Casino
- Primary and secondary schools and universities will open on February 8
- Staff and students at secondary schools and universities must wear masks
- Only staff at primary schools must wear a mask, students don’t have to
- Masks need to be worn at restaurants, bars, fitness centres, entertainment venues, retail outlets, weddings, and funerals
- Those venues and functions are restricted to 150-person limits, excluding staff
- Bars and restaurants will only provide seated service
- There’s also a 20-person limit in homes and on private outdoor and indoor gatherings
- Community sport is allowed but will be restricted to 150 people
Australia’s South West will return to the pre-lockdown world on Friday afternoon, while the Perth and Peel regions will observe the above rules.
A health enquiry and police investigation have been established into the COVID-19 breach that caused the lockdown.
“The short five day lockdown has done the job it was designed to do,” McGowan said.
“[it was] to reassure us that we don’t have community spread of the virus in WA”.
McGowan praised the WA public, saying people had become accustomed to wearing masks and following rules. However, he stressed there’s still work to be done.
“I wish we could just snap back immediately to the life we had last week,” he said.
“But doing so would be too risky, it would be irresponsible”.
“I don’t want a situation where we have to endure community transmission and the severe restrictions that brings. I don’t want a rolling long term lockdown”.
The Premier reminded citizens to stay vigilant of the virus.
“If you are unwell, if you have any symptoms, please get tested,” he said.
“If you have been to any of the exposure sites, go and get tested. Even if you have received a negative test, get tested again if symptoms develop”.
The Premier was quizzed
Journalists were keen to quiz McGowan on the new rules — especially what stands between West Aussies and a night at the pub.
McGowan rebuffed the intricacies of eating and drinking at venues while wearing a mask by, citing “common sense”.
“Other states have done this,” he said.
“If you’re going to have a drink from a cup of coffee or a beer […] you use common sense. You take the mask off while you eat, you put the mask back on when you finish”.
When asked why it took until Thursday night to announce the new rules, McGowan said several meetings had taken place before sharing them with the public.
“We found out about the virus on Sunday,” he said.
“We had our final meeting on the measures [for after lockdown] this afternoon. .. and also awaiting the latest test results”.
The Premier was also asked if the lockdown was an “overreaction”.
“No it wasn’t,” he answered.
“I’ve laid awake at night worrying about that… I don’t think so”.
Before announcing the new rules, McGowan acknowledged the hard work of firefighters battling the bushfire east of Perth that began earlier this week. Over 80 homes have been lost to date.