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.


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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