- Perth, Peel and the South West are out of lockdown tonight
- Restrictions continue for residents and businesses in Perth and Peel
- Barring no cases, this transition period ends on February 14th
Barring no more local Covid-19 cases, Perth, the Peel region (south of Perth) and the South-West will end its snap five-day lockdown at 6pm today, although various restrictions will still apply, at least for another week.
While people can celebrate out in the pubs and clubs, hospitality businesses will be relieved and real estate agents will be happy that this weekend’s auctions and home opens can go ahead in person, everyone has to wear a mask when outside until midnight on Sunday 14th February (which also happens to be Valentines Day).
Travellers from Victoria to WA will still be subject to 14 days self-quarantine and Covid testing.
WA’s state government has described the next week as a “transition out of lockdown” phase.
While the South-West region of WA will be taken out of lockdown altogether and return to pre-lockdown conditions, the Peel and Perth regions have these restrictions in place from 6pm tonight:
- wear a mask when in public and at work, except for strenuous exercise;
- all businesses can reopen, except for the casino and nightclubs;
- 4sqm rule is in place for businesses and venues, up to maximum of 150 people;
- hospitality venues can reopen, but seated service only;
- dancing is only permitted at weddings and dance studios;
- 20-person limit on personal indoor and outdoor gatherings;
- visits to aged care and disability facilities on compassionate grounds only;
- residential school and boarding facilities can resume;
- students go back to school on Monday (staff and all secondary students to wear masks);
- only ‘essential’ travel allowed in and out of Perth and Peel to other regions;
- elective surgery can commence;
- FIFO workers can come and go, subject to suitable documentation;
- Everyone must check-in (e.g. using Covid-WA safe app) at all venues, fines will apply if not followed.
So, after one community case came to light, and some sudden, shock treatment – shutting down an entire city of 2 million people, closing all schools, venues and hospitality – the five-day lockdown seems to have worked – touch wood – in preventing the community spread of what looked like the UK-variant of Covid.
But WA is not out of the woods yet, hence the need for the ‘transition’ period. Not everyone enjoys wearing a mask, but presumably it’s more fun than catching the virus. And if WA does not get on top of this mini-outbreak, then life cannot return to pre-lockdown at all.
Premier Mark McGowan admitted he ‘lost sleep’ over taking such drastic action last weekend, but as health advisors and other commentators noted – including the celebrated medical journalist Dr Norman Swan from the ABC – the right thing was probably to jump on this thing early, and stamp it out.
Time will tell as to whether this is just an isolated blip for the state, or the herald of more bumps to come.