Western Australia coronavirus restrictions eased
For a month now, West Australians have been subject to a range of previously unimaginable enforced restrictions in our everyday lives.
Thanks to the significant threat to public health posed by the global coronavirus pandemic, we’ve endured limitations on our movements including when we can leave the house and who we are allowed to see.
But now there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
But it doesn’t mean we can go back to our previous lives yet. Here’s what’s allowed and what’s still banned.
People can gather in small groups
Until today West Australians, like everyone else in the country, have been required to abide by the two-person rule.
That is, no more than two people who don’t normally live in the same household have been allowed to meet up, either outdoors or inside, for non-work purposes.
From today, that limit has been eased to 10 people.
So you can meet up with up to nine other people, either inside or outside.
But the Premier said everyone should continue to practice social distancing — that is, keeping at least 1.5 metres apart from each other.
What about weddings and funerals?
The easing of restrictions is better news for those hoping to hold a wedding soon.
While previously only five people were allowed at a wedding, this figure has now doubled to 10.
There’s no change to funerals though — they are still limited to a maximum of 10 people.
Is my boot camp back on?
Personal training has been limited to socially distanced one-on-one sessions for the past month.
But the easing of the two-person rule means boot camps and some other forms of group exercise will be allowed again, subject to a 10-person limit.
The 1.5-metre social distancing rule also applies.
And there is to be no shared equipment, so it might be a case of BYO weights.
What about gyms, playgrounds and skate parks?
That’s a no.
Mr McGowan said they are to remain closed at the moment, including outdoor gym equipment.
He said the main reason was that it could not be cleaned regularly, “and you can’t track or trace who uses this equipment.”
Any news for home buyers?
The advent of coronavirus has played havoc with the housing market, with home opens banned and display villages closed.
Home inspections have been done by appointment only, but now that requirement has been eased.
Home opens are allowed again, subject to the 10-person rule, and display villages will also be allowed to reopen.
Live auctions are still banned, though online auctions are OK.
What else can I do to ease the boredom?
The government has also announced a range of non-contact recreational activities will be allowed again. These include:
- A picnic in the park with friends (so long as there’s not more than 10 of you)
- Having up to nine of your mates around for a barbeque, so long as there’s space for 4 square metres per person
- Soccer at the park with your friends, so long as there’s no contact (and no more than 10 of you)
- You can go fishing or play tennis or golf
- You can pack the tent and go camping, or grab your hiking boots and go on a bushwalk or hike
- You can take your boat out for a sail — just don’t try going to Rottnest, as moorings there are still not open
Mr McGowan said Rottnest would remain closed in case it was needed as a quarantine centre again.
The island had been used to house about 200 travelers after they disembarked from the Vasco de Gama cruise ship in Fremantle last month.
They spent a fortnight in self quarantine in the island’s chalets and villas, before returning home.
The Premier said there were three flights due into Perth from overseas destinations soon carrying hundreds of people and Rottnest may be needed to quarantine them.
Can I go to a restaurant or cafe now?
Dining in is still banned, so you can only get takeaways for now.
Restaurants, cafes, food trucks and food courts are still not allowed to seat customers and are restricted to takeaway food and coffee, and home deliveries.
Mr McGowan said it was “hard to know” when they would be allowed to resume full service, but it would be based on medical advice.
What’s still banned? Quite a lot actually
For example, you still can’t:
- Go to the pub
- Go nightclubbing
- Go to the footy or any other live sporting event
- Have a party of more than 10 people
- Dine in at a restaurant or cafe
- Catch a movie at the cinema
- Attend a concert or festival
- Play a contact sport
- Go to church, although live streaming is allowed
- Go to the library
So when will life go back to normal?
Sorry, but it’s hard to say.
The Premier says WA is doing well in managing the threat of coronavirus, but is mindful of lifting restrictions too early.
He said the decision to ease some of the restrictions was based on “the best medical advice in the country” but as the National Cabinet has outlined, the remaining restrictions could be in place for six months or more.
“Relaxing some restrictions to allow for Western Australians to stay connected with their loved ones is a positive step, however it needs to be applied with common sense,” he said.
“The changes are sensible and reasonable, and are designed to provide a high value social impact.”
He said any further easing of the rules would be on medical advice, and warned people to be sensible.
“Don’t have wild parties. Don’t do stupid things that requires us to clamp down again,” the Premier said.
“Do the right thing by yourselves, your neighbors and your community.”
Western Australia coronavirus restrictions eased