Western Australia will move into phase four of eased restrictions this weekend, Premier Mark McGowan announced in a press conference today.
From Saturday June 27, all existing gathering limits and the 100/300 rule will be removed. Gathering limits will now be determined by the two-square-metre rule.
Seated requirements at hospitality venues will also be removed. “Yes, from Saturday, we can all enjoy a beer standing up at the bar,” said McGowan.
Venues will no longer be required to maintain a register of guests.
The casino gaming floor will also reopen under temporary restrictions, with every second machine turned off.
Events – except for large-scale multi-stage music events – will return. That means unseated performances will be permitted at venues such as concert halls, live music spaces, bars and pubs. And major sport and entertainment venues will be able to operate at 50 per cent capacity. That means Optus Stadium will be able to hold 30,000 patrons for sporting events (and 35,000 for concerts).
“Western Australia will hold the largest crowds in the country, by far,” said McGowan.
Gyms will be able to operate unstaffed – but regular cleaning must be maintained.
The premier urged Western Australia to “keep up physical distancing where possible, and good personal hygiene”.
Phase four will be in place for three weeks, before the state enters phase five on July 15. “All going well”, McGowan said phase five will see the removal of the two-square-metre rule and all gathering restrictions. That means major venues will be able operate at full capacity.
During phase six – which has no set date – the state border will reopen (allowing visitors from other parts of Australia), and the travel restrictions in place for remote Aboriginal communities will be lifted.
“Right now it would be irresponsible of me to earmark that date,” McGowan said, acknowledging the evolving situation in Victoria. “It would be against our health advice.”
More to come.