Masks And Vaccine Mandates Are Out, As WA COVID Restrictions Ease Friday 29 April

By Claire Logan
26th Apr 2022

two people cheersing glasses at The Royal In Perth

Image credit: The Royal Perth

Looking for the latest news on COVID in Perth and WA? You're in the right place.

Update: 26 April 2022

While it currently seems like every man and his dog has COVID in Perth, WA's Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson has said that WA has fared much better than modelling predicted, with less hospitalisations, less ICU admissions and less deaths due to the omicron wave than anticipated. 

Given this and our strong vaccination rate, they'll be rolling back restrictions from 12.01am this Friday 29 April to what they call "baseline" measures. So pretty much all the main restrictions are gone...

  • Masks no longer required at indoor venues (just in places like hospitals, aged care and on public transport and in rideshares and taxis)
  • Proof of vaccination no longer required
  • Capacity limits and the two square metre rule scrapped
  • G2G pass system scrapped, so people are free to enter WA
  • Close contacts of positive cases no longer have to isolate if they show no symptoms

Stay tuned for more info. 

Update: 24 March 2022

​Today Premier Mark McGowan has announced that with the doubling of cases stopped, our world-leaving vaccination rates and lower than expected hospitalisations, we are in a good position and are on course for the safe, soft landing we've been planning for. This means that as of 12.01am next Thursday 31 March majority of the level 2 health measure currently in play will roll back to level 1. 

A few of the main changes to note include:

  • Crowd caps will be raised from 150 to 500 for large venues like nightclubs.
  • Standing service returns.
  • Contact registration will only be required at venues where proof of vaccination is required (like hospitality venues), meaning you won't have to scan QR codes when heading to the shops.
  • The number of people allowed at indoor gatherings at home go from 10 to 30. 

Stay tuned for updates on the different health measures here.

Update: 28 February 2022

With WA's active cases soaring past the 5,000 mark and the border opening looming, a host of new health measures will be introduced as of 12.01am Thursday 3 March in addition to existing rules around indoor mask wearing and proof of vaccination. These include but are not limited to:

  • Capacity Limits For Private Gatherings:
    • Home gatherings to be limited to a total of 10 people indoors and outdoors, except for weddings and funerals.
    • Private outdoor gatherings in a public space limited to 50 people.
  • Capacity Limits For Weddings And Funerals:
    • The 2sqm square metre rule and 150 person capacity limit applies indoors or outdoors for weddings and funerals, and for places of worship—no more than 10 people inside if held at a private residence.
  • Public Density And Capacity Limits: 
    • 2sqm rule and 150 patron limit (not including staff) applies to all hospitality venues (seated service only), fitness venues, entertainment venues (excluding seated entertainment venues), galleries and museums, places of worship, hairdressers, tattoo parlours and beauty services, and nightclubs (seated service only). 
    • 50 per cent capacity limit for entertainment venues with forward facing seating, such as theatres and cinemas, and for major stadiums, including Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium (main area) and HBF Park, with mask wearing at stadiums.
    • 2sqm rule and 500 person capacity limit will apply for outdoor public venues and events, with masks required as well.

Scope out all the latest health measures here and if you're yet to get your booster, book here.

Update: 18 February 2022

McGowan announced today that as of 12.01am Thursday 3 March WA will resume the full border reopening which was delayed four weeks ago.

The decision follows a meeting of the state disaster council to consider the latest health advice on the state’s next steps. The virus is already here and given our growing vaccination rate and the declining number of cases over east, the State Government believes we can now safely relax the hard border controls. 

However, with the border reopening and interstate and international travellers entering the state, we can expect case numbers to grow. Given this, a new set of public requirements will come into play to help curve the spread and keep our community and businesses safe, including a number of new level one health measures for hospitality venues which will come into effect as of 21 February. McGowan admitted that as case numbers grow, it can feel safer to just stay at home, but urged us all to continue supporting local businesses where you can—grab a coffee, order takeaway and go to shows—to help them get through this difficult next phase.

Update: 20 January 2022

Premier Mark McGowan announced today that given the current health advice, they have reworked the original safe transition plan. Our hard borders will stay as of 12.01am 5 February however new exemption criteria will apply to allow more approved travellers to enter West Australia in a safe manner, with enhanced allowances for compassionate grounds.

Update: 19 January 2022

Two new COVID-19 cases were recorded overnight, both of which are believed to be linked to the Cockburn cluster, both are now in quarantine and contact tracing is underway so continue checking exposure sites.

This takes our total active cases up to 82, including 34 active cases of omicron. WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson says they are still concerned about omicron in the community so it's important we continue checking in and keep on top of vaccinations.

One of the recent omicron cases presented at Fiona Stanley with symptoms that weren't related to COVID-19 and ended up testing positive, so it's a reminder that whether you have symptoms or not if you were at an exposure site please get tested. 

Update: 17 January 2022

Zero new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded overnight, but exposure sites continue to grow based on the existing omicron cases that were infectious in the community so the message is, keep checking the exposure sites regularly, monitor for symptoms and get tested. 

Update: 16 January

Three new cases have been confirmed since yesterday, including two new community cases of omicron which are believed to have been infectious in the community.

Given the growing number of omicron cases that have been infectious in the community, today Premier Mark McGowan is "raising the alarm"—bringing the mask mandate back in as of 6pm tonight for all indoor venues in Perth and Peel to help minimise the spread. 

There have been several cases infectious cases in the community since 6 January, so please keep checking exposure sites and follow the health advise, as new locations are being added daily. Anyone feeling unwell should get tested and self quarantine. And if you're yet to get double dose vaccinated or are eligible for your booster, book now.

Update: 12 January 2022

Two new cases were announced today, one relating to the Hyatt Regency Hotel cluster and one a household contact of a previous contact related to interstate travel. Meanwhile, they're still investigating one of yesterday's cases to determine how the woman acquired the virus, with no link found to any of the other cases. 

Premier Mark McGowan went on to say that the past few weeks demonstrate the difficulty of keeping COVID under control. And unlike last year, outbreaks seem to be inevitable. However, what we have seen work is wide-ranging proof of vaccination requirements. So today McGowan has confirmed an extension of proof of vaccination requirements as we get closer to reopening the borders on 5 February. 

From Monday 31 January proof of double vaccination will be required state-wide ffor:

  • Visitors to aged care and public and private hospitals
  • All hospitality venues, including restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, clubs, taverns, night-clubs and dine-in fast food (roadhouses, service stations and takeaway are exempt)
  • Indoor entertainment venues, including play centres, gaming and gambling, theatres, concert halls, museums, cinemas and live music venues
  • Bottle shops
  • The entire Crown Perth complex
  • Major stadiums
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Amusement parks and zoos
  • Music festivals and large events with more than 500 people (unless exempt)

These requirements will apply to anyone 16 and over anywhere in Western Australia.

To make things easier, download and add your proof of vaccination certificate in the new ServiceWA app—this will save you from having to pull your ID out every time. 

Bottom line, as Marky Mark said, "life will be very difficult for the unvaccinated from January 31."

Update: 11 January 2022

The Government has announced that their new app, Service WA, is now available. The new app will allow you to check in via Safe WA and provide your proof of vaccination all in the one place. It will also provide COVID-19 updates and helpful info, as well as access to G2G passes for interstate travel. You will still be able to manually check in and provide proof of vaccination, however the app will make it way easier for yourself and for venues to comply with the new requirements.

In today's announcement, they also confirmed 4 new local COVID-19 cases in WA, including the third case of the Omicron strain, with one believed to have been infectious in the local community. New exposure sites have been added, so please check these updates and follow the health advice.

Update: 10 January 2022

With everything that's been going over east and the latest COVID scare here in Perth, the question on everybody's mind has been, will we still open up borders on 5 February as originally announced as part of our safe transition plan?  Well, as it stands Premier Mark McGowan is still committed to this date but we will need to prepare for changes to come—in particular making sure you're vaccinated in the lead up.

Three new local cases have been confirmed today, however, all were already in quarantine and none are believed to have been infectious in the community. He praised local businesses and West Australians for adapting and complying with changing restrictions such as the new proof of vaccination requirements so quickly, and reminded people to continue checking in with SafeWA, checking exposure sites, staying home and getting tested when sick.

Our vaccination rates sits at 93.9% for West Australians 12 and over with the first dose and 86.3% for West Australians 12 and over double dose vaccinated. If you haven't had your first dose, McGowan urges you to book now as proof of vaccination requirements will extend to more venues and events as we get closer to 5 February. 

Update: 7 January 2022

Acting Premier Roger Cook today gave us an update regarding the current COVID-19 situation and revealed that thanks to contact tracing, we are on top of the situation and have confidence in our next step. Therefore from 6pm tonight mask-wearing will no longer be required for indoor venues or major outdoor events such as festivals. They will only be required moving forward in vulnerable settings and public transport, taxis and rideshare. Proof of vaccination requirements are still in place for higher risk venues and events, keeping everyone attending or working these events safer.

He also encouraged people to keep checking in at venues and keep checking exposure sites daily and following the health advice for each site. 

Update: 5 January 2022

Acting Premier Roger Cook announced that West Australia has recorded 16 new cases today, including 5 new local cases, 3 of which were related to the Delta ‘backpacker cluster’—and 2 of these are believed to have been infectious in the community.  A number of new exposure sites have been added, including The Lucky Shag Bar, The Aviary, Dan Murphy's Hyde Park, Yagan Square, Woolworths Murray Street and more, so you'll need to check the full list of exposure sites and get tested if necessary.

He also urged any West Australians currently travelling with a G2G pass to "come home now before it's too late" as new border restrictions will come in as of 12.01am Saturday 8 January.

Update: 3 January 2022

Thankfully, only a low number of local community cases have been recorded since the outbreak before Christmas, so restrictions will ease from 6am Tuesday 4 January. This includes the return of standing consumption of food and drink, dancing, music festivals, major events and nightclubs.

However, just remember to pack a face mask if you're heading out, as they'll remain mandatory in all indoor public venues, on public transport, taxis and rideshare services and at major outdoor events and festivals until 6pm Friday 7 January.

It was also announced that proof of double dose vaccination will be required for nightclubs, the Crown gaming floor, music festivals and major events (above 500 people), as well as pubs, taverns, and hotels (hospitality) with a capacity of more than 500 people. You can find out more on how you can provide proof of vaccination here.

Update: 27 December 2021

Due to a number of close contacts who haven't been tested yet, Premier Mark McGowan has announced the restrictions outlined on 23 December 2021 will be extended until 6am Tuesday 4 January.

This does mean that festivals are canceled and nightclubs remain closed, while only seated food and beverage consumption at licensed venues is allowed—so if you had plans to head to one of the big NYE or NYD events in Perth, it might be time to find something else to do that's a little more low-key. The fireworks are still going ahead on NYE with mask-wearing encouraged.

Update: 23 December 2021

Yep, you heard right—we've got a new COVID case in the community just two days before Christmas.

Exposure sites are all listed here and will be updated as more locations are found so keep an eye on it and be sure to get tested if you visited any or if you have any symptoms.

Close contacts will need to isolate for 14 days—so yes, you may be stuck at home for Christmas, sorry—and casual contacts will be required to isolate until they get a negative result.

For now, the following restrictions are in place from 6pm tonight until 6am Tuesday 28 December:

  • Masks are mandatory in all public indoor settings. The mask mandate will not apply in homes or if doing vigorous exercise inside.
  • Masks are encouraged outdoors where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Festivals will be cancelled and nightclubs will be closed.

Update: 13 December 2021

Today Premier Mark McGowan announced we've officially hit 80% double vaccination rate and with that, he's finally locked in our reopening date. As of 12.01am Saturday 5 February WA's hard borders will officially ease to domestic and international arrivals.

Before entering WA, people will need to provide proof of double-dose vaccination as well as a negative PCR test within 72 hours of travel and undertake another test on arrival.

Double-dose vaccinated international arrivals will not be required to quarantine ensuring all requirements are met. Unvaccinated international arrivals will still be required to quarantine for two weeks in a state-run facility, with a cap on the number of positions available. 

All domestic arrivals must be double-dose vaccinated.

Once we do open up, there will be a few extra restrictions such as:

  • Face masks are to be worn in high-risk indoor settings like public transport, aged care facilities and in hospitals.
  • Proof of vaccination will be required to enter nightclubs, the casino and events with crowds of more than 1000 people.
  • Use of the Safe WA and contact registers will continue to be necessary at all public venues.
  • Access to remote Aboriginal communities will be restricted where necessary.

Anyone yet to have their first dose of the vaccination is encouraged to get vaccinated now to allow enough time to secure their second dose before new restrictions come into play. 

Update: 5 November 2021

Finally, we have some news about when our WA borders will be opening! 

The big news is that we will be opening the borders when we get to a 90% vaccination rate—and that's a double dose, of course, so if you haven't had your first dose yet, now is the time.

Premier Mark McGowan has said an exact date will be set in the first half of December and he expects that the opening date will be in January or early February.  

And the question on everyone's mind—what happens if we don't hit a 90% double vaxx rate? Mark McGowan has said we will hit 80% in the first half of December and at that stage, we should have a better idea of when we'll hit 90%. When that's determined, a date will be set to open state and international borders and the Premier has confirmed that once that date is set there will be no going back. If we haven't reached the 90% rate there will simply be extra precautions and restrictions in place.

Remember this weekend is WA's super-vax weekend—yep, you can get vaxxed at Bunnings—so if you're eligible and haven't got your vaccine yet, this is the perfect opportunity.

Update: 22 June 2020

Over the past couple of months, West Australians have revelled in their newly reinstated freedom to be able to get back to the gym, feast at our favourite restaurants and travel across our beautiful state. 

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan announced new rules today, Monday 22 June and it's all good news.

Our four-phase road map has been adapted to a six-phase roadmap, and we'll be entering phase 4 this weekend on Saturday 27 June.

Here's what each phase looks like.

Phase Two: Monday 18 May

Phase Two saw a significant easing of current restrictions, including:

  • Social gatherings of up to 20 people, both indoors and outdoors.
  • West Australians are encouraged to return to work they are unless unwell or are considered vulnerable.
  • Cafes and restaurants can open for dine-in meal services with a maximum of 20 people. The four square metre rule still applies. This includes pubs, bars, community clubs, hotels and even the casino. The State Government will also be working with local governments to encourage the relaxation of alfresco dining boundaries.
  • Up to 20 people can now attend indoor weddings and funerals, while 30 people can attend the services if they are held outdoors.
  • Places of worship, community facilities and libraries can re-open with a maximum of 20 patrons.
  • Public swimming pools can reopen with a maximum of 20 people at any one time.
  • Beauty salons can re-open for retail only.
  • Non-contact community sports can be played with up to 20 people.
  • Outdoor and indoor fitness classes, provided there is minimal shared equipment, can take place with up to 20 people.
  • Intrastate travel restrictions are being eased, more on that below.

Intrastate Travel Restrictions in Phase two

In Phase Two, WA intrastate travel regions were originally reduced to just four. This was revised on Monday 25 May and now there are just two regions:

  • Perth, Peel, the South West, Great Southern, the Wheatbelt, Midwest, Gascoyne and Pilbara and The Goldfields are now one region.
  • The Kimberley, and 274 Aboriginal communities, will remain as biosecurity zones and off-limits to us for now.

Rottnest will re-open in Phase 3.

McGowan is hoping to ease restrictions to Broome and certain parts of the Kimberley by Friday 5 June, but travel to remote areas and Aboriginal communities will likely be restricted for a while longer yet, so watch this space.

Phase Three: Saturday 6 June

Phase Three saw:

  • An increase in the number of people who can attend social gatherings to 100, for both indoor and outdoor gatherings, provided there is two square metres per person.
  • Indoor and outdoor venues with multiple, divided spaces can have up to 300 people, with 100 people in each space.
  • Bars, restaurants, pubs and cafes can serve alcohol without a meal.
  • Beauty therapy and personal care businesses can re-open.
  • Playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment can re-open.
  • Full contact sports and training can resume, along with gyms and all fitness classes.
  • The re-opening of cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, concert venues, cinemas, zoos, amusement parks and arcades.

Phase Four: Saturday 27 June

Phase Four will see:

  • All existing gathering limits (previously 100 people, or up to 300 people in venues with multiple spaces) removed.
  • Gathering limits are now determined solely by WA's unique two square metre rule.
  • The requirement to be seated to have a drink will be removed meaning you can stand at the bar and have a pint, plus wine tastings should be back to business as usual.
  • Venues will no longer be required to maintain a patron register.
  • Unseated performances will be allowed at venues including live concert halls and live music venues. 
  • Gyms may operate unstaffed.
  • The casino gaming floor will re-open, though every second machine will be turned off to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Major sport and entertainment venues can operate under 50% capacity rule. This means Optus Stadium can hold up to 30,000 people, while RAC Arena can host 7,000 to 8,000 people, depending on the setup.

Phase Five: Saturday 18 July

Phase Five is set to commence on Saturday 18 July if all is going to plan. It will see the removal of the two square metre rule and all other gathering restrictions including the 50% capacity rule on entertainment venues.

Phase Six: TBA

Phase Six will be assessed at a later date and will outline when the hard interstate border can be lifted. That's still a way off so start planning your WA getaway.

Image credit: The Royal

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