18/05/2020 - 15:53

Three active COVID cases in WA as businesses reopen

18/05/2020 - 15:53

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Western Australia has officially moved into the second phase of lifting some of its coronavirus restrictions, while recording no new infections and two recoveries overnight.

Three active COVID cases in WA as businesses reopen
Mark McGowan and Roger Cook at Gordon Street Garage Cafe in West Perth. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Western Australia has officially moved into the second phase of lifting some of its coronavirus restrictions, while recording no new infections and two recoveries overnight.

Speaking at Gordon Street Garage Café in West Perth, Premier Mark McGowan said it was a significant day for the state, with businesses back in a “COVID-safe way”.

Gordon Street, which has offered takeaway coffee and food during the coronavirus pandemic, is now allowed to cater dine-in service for up to 20 patrons at a time as the state moves ahead with Phase 2 easing of restrictions.

“Today, we are officially in phase two of our opening up measures,” Mr McGowan said this afternoon.

“That means thousands of businesses have opened their doors for sit-down meals across the state.”

Community centres, fitness classes and libraries are also allowed to open during phase two while school attendance is now compulsory across the state.

The premier also noted an increased limit on non-work gatherings of up to 20 people and the ramp-up of elective surgeries to 50 per cent of normal capacity.

“We’re getting back to a far more normal life and I hope Western Australians embrace these opportunities,” he said.

“We have a detailed roadmap to ease restrictions further. Hopefully sooner rather than later, in a way that keeps Western Australians safe.”

Mr McGowan confirmed the state would not drop its hard border closure anytime soon, despite NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian pushing for free travel across Australia.

“Clearly there are much greater levels of community transmission in NSW and Victoria than there is here,” Mr McGowan said.

“We’ll keep the borders up until we deem it’s the right time and in the interests of the health of Western Australians.”

The state has recorded no new COVID-19 cases overnight, leaving the total unchanged at 557.

Health Minister Roger Cook also reported two further recoveries in WA, reducing the state's active cases to just three.

Additionally, 545 Western Australians have now recovered from the virus, representing nearly 98 per cent of confirmed cases.

“That’s positive news as we start to ease restrictions today," Mr Cook told reporters.

“The only reason why we’re in this position today is because of the work of the community; embracing all the measures that have been in place.

“Now is the time for Western Australians… to demonstrate to the rest of Australia how we go about reopening our economy, returning to our cafes and pubs and reenergising the community.”

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