Mark McGowan press conference: COVID-19 restrictions introduced as WA prepares to open March 3

WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced a number of new COVID-19 restrictions for Western Australia as the state prepares for a March 3 border reopening date.

WA’s hard border will be dismantled just under four weeks after the original February 5 date set for the resumption of quarantine-free travel.

Mr McGowan announced the new date at a press conference on Friday afternoon shortly after WA Health reported 194 new local cases in the last reporting period.

All international and interstate arrivals will receive a rapid antigen test at Perth Airport and must report a positive result to WA Health.

Mr McGowan also announced a series of restrictions to limit the spread of Omicron.

Camera iconMr McGowan also announced a series of restrictions to limit the spread of Omicron. Credit: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images

Beginning at 6 a.m. on Monday, February 21, mask rules for all indoor public places will be expanded statewide and applied to the Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid-West and Goldfields-Esperance areas.

At the same time, “Tier 1 measures” will come into force for the Perth, Peel, South West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Pilbara regions.

NEW COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

In addition to existing requirements for indoor masks, proof of vaccination, contact registration and restrictions for remote Indigenous communities, Tier 1 measures also include:

  • home gatherings limited to 30 people in total;
  • private outdoor gatherings (not in a private residence) limited to a total of 200 people;
  • two square meter rule introduced for hospitality, gyms, entertainment venues, cultural venues, places of worship, hairdressers and beauty services;
  • 75% capacity for seated entertainment venues (facing the road), such as theaters and cinemas;
  • 75% capacity for large stadiums such as Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium (main area) and HBF Park;
  • two square meter rule for the Perth Crown Complex and seated service only on the casino games room;
  • Capacity limit of 500 people in nightclubs, in addition to the two square meter rule;
  • visits to residences for the elderly and care facilities for the disabled, and hospitals limited to four visitors per patient/resident per day, exemptions for compassionate reasons;
  • COVID event checklists required for events with 500+ patrons and less than 1,000 patrons and COVID event plans required for large events with 1,000+ patrons;
  • COVID safety plans should be extended to early childhood education and care services, hairdressers and barbers, and encouraged for all workplaces; and
  • workplaces should implement COVID-19 safety parameters to manage workforce impacts.

All Tier 1 measures will be applied to the Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid West and Goldfields-Esperance areas if community transmission is detected in the area.

Mr McGowan signaled that the restrictions could in future be upgraded to Tier 2, which would mean a move to the 4m rule and a further limitation of home gatherings to just 10.

At this point, mask-wearing in schools would also be extended to grade 3 students and up.

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