26 September 2023

Restrictions tighten as Omicron spreads

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New public health and social measures have been introduced for regional Western Australia in an effort to manage the surge of Omicron COVID-19 cases.

In a statement, the Department of Health said community transmission was growing in Perth, Peel, South-West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Pilbara regions.

“Home gatherings are limited to a total of 30 people and private outdoor gatherings (not at a private residence) are limited to a total of 200,” the Department said.

“The two-square-metre rule has been introduced for hospitality, fitness venues, entertainment venues, cultural venues, places of worship, hairdressers and beauty services, and seated entertainment venues will be limited to 75 per cent capacity,” it said.

The Department said there would be a 500-person capacity limit at nightclubs and COVID Event Checklists would be required for events with more than 500 patrons and less than 1,000 patrons.

It said these measures were in addition to the existing indoor mask requirements, proof of vaccination, contact registration and restrictions to remote Aboriginal communities.

“With WA achieving more than 95 per cent double-dose vaccination and based on the latest health advice, bottle shops will be removed from proof-of-vaccination requirements immediately, ahead of a review of other proof-of-vaccination and contact registration measures,” the Department said.

“Further public health and social measures may be introduced in the future to help reduce increasing transmission of COVID-19 and hospitalisations, if necessary.”

Premier, Mark McGowan said introducing the public health measures was “not something we wanted to do, but we know from the Eastern States’ experience that applying measures before the peak will help in the long run”.

“Omicron is in our community, it is spreading through our workplaces, schools and social settings, and we know cases will jump significantly in the days ahead,” Mr McGowan said.

“These measures may be scaled up or down based on updated health advice or rates of hospitalisation,” he said.

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