Latest Perth coronavirus update see 0 new cases and restrictions to start being eased in WA.
Premier Mark McGowan announced a “cautious relaxation” some of WA’s coronavirus restrictions in place over the last few weeks, including the number of people allowed to gather outside.
Effective tomorrow, gatherings of up to 10 people will now be allowed, which will apply not only to casual gatherings but weddings and personal training groups as well.
“This will allow for people to better catch up with their families,” he said.
“It means home opens can happen, which will be great for the construction industry.”
Home opens and display village openings have been forced to go online under the previous rules, but will now be able to resume as long as they keep rigorous records of the number of people coming through.
People will now be allowed to leave home for “non essentials” and “non contact” activities like boating and fishing as long as it complied with travel restrictions.
Mr McGowan “strongly encouraged” people to keep practising the 1.5 meters of social distancing.
He said the rolling back of restrictions was “a reward” for West Australians who had been doing the right thing, but this responsibility to keep following the rules remained.
“Don’t have wild parties, don’t do stupid things that mean we have to clamp down again,” he said.
Mr McGowan said the Government would continue to look to “move or tweak” some restrictions.
It comes as Queensland also relaxed some of its restrictions today.
Workplaces can re-open if they follow the 10-person rule
Mr McGowan said workplaces could “make their own decisions” but encouraged them to reopen where possible.
“If they can apply the right rules in the workplace, they can have peolpe at work,” he said.
“I don’t think that’s a bad thing and I think if the rules are applied appropriately – and that is the 1.5 meter or four square meter rule, and appropriate hygiene – then it’s fine for workplaces to get people back into them.”
Border closures remain in place
Mr McGowan said “all other restrictions will remain in place” in a bid to keep protecting Western Australians.
“We need to be patient and need to be careful,” he said.
“That’s why our borders will remain shut for a long period of time. Our numbers may remain low, but we want to keep it that way.”
Mr McGowan said about 1000 people had been granted exemptions from the hard border closure and allowed to enter the State.
He confirmed three aircrafts filled with “hundreds of people from overseas” would be arriving in coming weeks, after travellers trapped in foreign countries were repatriated.
“They will need to be accommodated (in hotels),” he said.
Mr McGowan confirmed that along with border restrictions, restaurants, bars and cafes needed to keep their door closed and offer takeaway and delivery only.
Another day of zero cases
Health Minister Roger Cook confirmed WA had confirmed no new cases over the last 24 hours, with just 55 people left suffering from the virus today.
“I am happy to announce again that we have recorded no new cases overnight,” he said.
“This means our State total remains at 549. Of those, 486 have now recovered leaving us with just 55 active cases across the state.”
Mr Cook confirmed 16 COVID-19 patients were in Perth metropolitan hospitals, with just four in ICU.
To date 34,256 people have tested negative for coronavirus in WA.
“On Sunday the 25th of April 323 people presented at COVID-19 testing clinics, with 11 not meeting the pre-screen requirements,” he said.
“283 patients were assessed within the clinics, with 279 swabbed. Four patients were admitted or sent to ED for further treatment.”
Mr Cook said Western Australians had been compliant over the last few weeks to help get the State to where it was today, but there was more work to be done and complacency was not an option.
WA applied “much more common sense” than Eastern States in fining people for breaking the rules
While confirming the police would still have the ability to issue fines for those who broke the rules, Mr McGowan assured WA had approached such punishments better than the eastern states.
“I must say in Western Australia, our police have been approaching this with much more common sense than the eastern states,” he said.
“So a household can go out and obviously if you’re living in a house with people you don’t have to apply the 1.5 meter rule with your wife or children or housemates.”
Mr McGowan said those who broke the rules and gathered in groups of 10 or more could be slapped with a $1000 fine, or at worse face $50,000 for “flagrantly breaking the rules”.
Premier welcomes an AFL “hub” to accomodate the sport’s resumption, but WA “won’t pay for it”
The need for there to be a neutral “hub” for AFL to resume has been a big talking point in recent weeks.
The idea is to reduce the travel of teams typically playing across the numerous stadiums across the country, and establish a single “hub” for the season to take place.
But what this would look like and where it would be based is still up for debate.
Mr McGowan said he “welcomed” a hub being established in WA, but there were other priorities for State spending.
“I don’t think we should have to pay for that,” he said.
“We are in a dire financial situation. If football wants to pay for it, that’d be great, but I don’t expect West Australians to pay for the privilege.”
Watch: WA Premier Mark McGowan and Health Minister Roger Cook give an update on WA’s response to coronavirus.