22/06/2020 - 15:20

Big crowds to be allowed at pubs, stadiums

22/06/2020 - 15:20

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The state government will remove more coronavirus-related restrictions this weekend, with limits on mass gatherings eased and major sport and entertainment venues to reopen, though WA's borders will remain closed.

Big crowds to be allowed at pubs, stadiums
Mark McGowan says he will not make a rushed decision on WA's hard border. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The state government will remove more coronavirus-related restrictions this weekend, with limits on mass gatherings eased and major sport and entertainment venues to reopen, though Western Australia's borders will remain closed.

From Saturday, the 100/300 rule will be removed, with limits on crowd numbers determined only by WA’s two square metre rule.

The public will be allowed to attend unseated performances at concert halls and live music venues, as well as at bars, pubs and nightclubs.

The state’s major sport and entertainment venues will be able to accommodate 50 per cent of their normal capacity, which means up to 30,633 people will be able to attend AFL matches at Optus Stadium, should football return to the state.

While large, multi-stage music venues are still prohibited, HBF Park will be allowed to accommodate up to 16,500 patrons for concerts and RAC Arena up to 8,250.

Crown Casino will reopen its gaming floor – under agreed temporary restrictions – and gyms will be able to operate unstaffed, with regular cleaning maintained.

Announcing phase four of the WA roadmap, Premier Mark McGowan said the new freedoms were the result of Western Australians doing the right thing.

“WA is the most economically free and active state in Australia due to our relaxed restrictions combined with our hard border arrangement,” he said.

“Our hard border has been in place unashamedly to protect the health and wellbeing of Western Australians first and foremost.

“It has allowed us to confidently ease restrictions more than any other state by a long way and open up our local WA economy.”

The premier said he would not make a rushed decision on the state’s hard border, noting the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria, which reported 16 new infections overnight.

“The current situation in Victoria is dire. It’s extremely concerning,” Mr McGowan said.

“Reimposing restrictions like Victoria has had to is the last thing I want to do. That’s why I won’t undo the good work of all Western Australians and rush to open the border.

“Instead, we will continue to listen to health advice and remove even more restrictions within WA.”

The state will maintain its hard border until August 8, when WA moves into phase six of easing of restrictions.

Phase five is set to come into effect July 18, and will include the removal of the two square metre rule along with restrictions on mass gatherings, meaning venues like Optus Stadium can accommodate their full capacity.

The news comes as WA reported no new infections overnight, with the state’s total remaining at 605.

There are three active cases in WA, all of whom are in hotel quarantine.

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