By Pip Christmass
WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced that Phase 5 easing of restrictions will be pushed back two weeks from its initial date of July 18 to August 1.
The premier said WA was taking the extra precaution because of the escalating situation in Victoria, where 288 new cases of coronavirus were recorded overnight.
The decision was based on the advice of WA’s chief health officer, Dr Andrew Robertson.
If Phase 5 does go ahead on August 1, it will mean the end of all restrictions of the number of people who can gather at events or venues.
More than 4000 people have arrived in WA from interstate in the past 10 days, including 400 from Melbourne in the past two days alone, McGowan said.
From Sunday, only 525 international passengers per week will be allowed into Perth.
And from July 17 all international arrivals will be required to pay for their 14 days of quarantine.
Exemptions will be made only for people in “extreme” financial hardship, McGowan said.
There are 19 active cases of coronavirus in WA.
Dr Robertson said it was unlikely Victoria had seen the peak of its infection rate.
“It is anticipated it may take two months or longer to get it fully under control,” he said.
“The impact of any further spread, including in other states and territories, will probably not be evident for a further two to three weeks.”
McGowan added that the risk of the virus returning to WA “with a vengeance” was greater than ever before.
He said he understood the decision would have a knock-on effect for some events and businesses, but warned he did not want to have to reimpose restrictions.
“I wish we could move to the next phase, I really do,” he told reporters on Friday.
“I don’t want all our hard work go to waste.”
‘I wish we could move to the next phase, I really do.’
The delay means the July 19 AFL derby between West Coast and Fremantle will be capped at 30,000 people.
Health Minister Roger Cook said there were three new virus cases recorded in WA overnight and all were in hotel quarantine, including one who arrived from the Congo.
The other two cases are from the same July 1 flight that arrived from Dubai, which is now connected to 10 of the 19 active cases in WA.
The post about “WA pushes back Phase 5 easing of restrictions after coronavirus spike in Victoria" first appeared on the 7News website.
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