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Mark McGowan says the state government will maintain a cautious approach to lifting further restrictions. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Premier not budging on restrictions

Premier Mark McGowan has refused to be drawn on when the government will lift COVID-19 restrictions despite more evidence of their economic damage and another day of zero new infections.

Speaking at a press conference today, Mr McGowan said Western Australia needed to be careful and conservative upon lifting coronavirus restrictions, despite the state recording zero new infections over two consecutive days.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases has also improved, falling from 88 to 81 overnight.

“Clearly, Western Australians have been doing a great job to reduce the rate of infection in our state,” Mr McGowan said.

“Part of that I think reflects the border arrangements, both the international and interstate.”

Noting the return of schools and resumption of elective surgery next week, Mr McGowan said the state government would maintain a cautious approach on lifting further restrictions.

“What we have to do is to be careful and considered and conservative, and make sure we take the best of health advice,” the premier said.

“We’ll make changes as time goes by, based upon health advice as it comes in.”

Mr McGowan confirmed the state government had no plan on easing border restrictions, despite WA's struggling tourism industry.

The Tourism Council WA says the industry has lost $3.1 billion and more than 30,000 jobs over cancelled holidays within the state.

“I know the tourism industry is struggling, that’s understandable,” the premier said.

“It is very difficult for the tourism industry at this point in time, as it is for the retail industry, as it is for the hospitality industry.

“Obviously the intrastate borders... are something that is affecting that, but on the other hand, the highest rates of infection have been in the city and a lot of regional people… have said they want these borders to stay in place for a longer rather than a shorter period."

Mr McGowan said the state government would continue to review border restrictions but had no intention of lifting them in the short-term.

With no new infections overnight, WA's total COVID-19 cases remains at 546.

There have been seven deaths and 458 recoveries.

More than 31,500 people have tested negative to the virus.

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