WA to remove seated service requirements on Saturday
22 June 2020, Written by Matt Ogg
The Western Australian Government has created two new phases in its COVID-19 roadmap, doing away with seated service requirements and letting the two square metre rule govern numbers in restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs and other venues.
Phase 4 will start from Saturday, 27 June (11:59pm, 26 June), allowing major sport and entertainment venues to operate at 50 per cent capacity, casino gaming floors to reopen and gyms to operate unstaffed but with regular cleaning.
Major venues will be allowed to have more ticketholders for concerts, so Optus Stadium will be able to have 30,633 for sport events and 35,000 for concerts; HBF Park can hold 10,150 (16,500 for concerts) and RAC Arena can hold 7,150 (8,250 for concerts).
Staff will not be included in the 2sqm rule for venues that hold 500 patrons or less, while food businesses and licensed premises will no longer need to keep a register of patrons.
Depending on infection rates locally, Phase 5 involving the removal of the 2sqm rule is set to be introduced on Saturday, July 18, along with a lifting of the 50 per cent capacity limit for major venues.
The State Government was planning to announced Phase 6 including a the removal of WA's hard border with the rest of the country and travel restrictions currently in place for remote Aboriginal communities, but this was put on hold due to the rapidly evolving situation in Victoria.
The WA hard border will only be removed when the WA Chief Health Officer is confident the spread of infection is controlled in the Eastern States.
"Western Australia is ready take another giant step out of COVID-19 restrictions," says Premier Mark McGowan.
"Our phased approach has allowed us to get more Western Australians back to work and into more social and recreational activities, as together we continue to kick-start WA's economy.
"It's because of the incredible effort of all Western Australians that we've been able to reach each phase and continue to lead the states in relaxing restrictions."
He explains WA is the only state in the country that doesn't have the "problematic" 4sqm rule, and today's step goes a step further.
"We can only do this thanks to WA's success in minimising the spread of COVID-19, and our hard border with the Eastern States," he says.
"We all need to be aware that the virus has not been eradicated, so we all have a personal responsibility to keep the community safe.
"To better protect each other in the community we need to continue to keep our physical distance, practice good personal hygiene and stay home if we're unwell."
Updated at 4:52pm AEST on 22 June 2020.
Author: Matt Ogg