COVID-19 coronavirus: Latest updates

Keep up-to-date with the latest news regarding novel COVID-19 coronavirus.

Last updated: 29 March 2020 at 9.30am

COVID-19 coronavirus update

The WA Government has declared a State of Emergency for Western Australia. For updated details, including State of Emergency Declarations and Directions see further COVID-19 State of Emergency information.

On Friday, 20 March 2020 the National Cabinet met and discussed further measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Prime Minister announced the Federal Budget will be delayed due to COVID-19 and be handed down in October 2020. The WA Government will also need to do the same. A final date will be set in coming weeks.

The WA Government, together with the NSW Government, will develop policies to help prevent evictions and ease pressure on commercial tenants. Further detail and announcements will be made shortly

WA Police Enforcement Squad - COVID-19

A WA Police Enforcement squad of more than 200 police officer will hit the streets of WA immediately to ensure compliance with quarantine and gathering requirements and to maintain community safety during the State of Emergency in response to COVID-19.

The State Government will also bring in $1,000 on-the-spot fines for individuals and $5,000 fines for businesses who disobey the rules.

Penalties of up to $50,000 for individuals still apply under the Emergency Management Act, however, the on-the-spot fines will allow WA Police to issue fines immediately, without having to go through the courts.

View more information at the WA Government Response page.

Changes to operations at WA TAFE colleges

Western Australian TAFE Colleges will develop a new delivery approach from Monday 30 March 2020 to 9 April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this period, there will be a temporary pause in face-to-face delivery of most courses as lecturers and non-teaching staff will prepare to move to a new style of training in Term 2.

For further information please visit the COVID-19 coronavirus: Advice for schools and education sector.

New intrastate travel restrictions

The WA Government will introduce further restrictions on travel within Western Australia from Tuesday night 31 March 2020 (12.00am AWST Wednesday morning 1 April 2020) to assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Western Australian intrastate travel is defined as movement through the boundaries of the regions of Western Australia. These regions are:

  • Perth and Peel (due to their close proximity, the Perth and Peel regions will combine into one region)
  • South West
  • Great Southern
  • Goldfields-Esperance
  • Mid-West
  • Wheatbelt
  • Gascoyne
  • Pilbara
  • Kimberley.

Western Australians will not be permitted to leave their regional boundary. Police have the power to enforce these restrictions and fines of up to $50,000 can be issued. 

Exemptions will apply for:

  • employment purposes
  • medical reasons
  • health and emergency services
  • people living in ‘border communities’, who may not have access to groceries or supplies within their region
  • freight
  • compassionate grounds.

Access to designated regions including the Kimberley (including the entire Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku, parts of the Shire of East Pilbara that encompass the communities of Jigalong, Martu homeland communities and Kiwirrkurra) have additional stronger restrictions in place. This is to help curb the spread of COVID-19 into our very vulnerable communities, which could have catastrophic consequences.

Further details on how the restrictions will operate and application process for exemptions will be provided before the restrictions come into force.

COVID-19 testing criteria expanded in WA

The testing criteria for COVID-19 will now be accessible for vulnerable groups of people in high-risk settings and will prioritise the testing of healthcare staff on the frontline.
 
The new testing criteria will cater for people in high-risk settings and geographically localised areas, with an emphasis on protecting vulnerable populations including aged care and remote communities.
 
The WA Government will also expand its criteria to assist in tracking individual cases and community transmission.
 
For more information please visit COVID-19 coronavirus: Community advice.

State of Emergency occasional liquor licence

To support the liquor industry the Director of Liquor Licensing will grant occasional liquor licences to existing licensed venues for up to 6 months to allow the sale of liquor with a takeaway or delivered meal. 

Further information can be accessed via COVID-19 coronavirus: Business and industry advice.

Temporary changes to takeaway alcohol

From 25 March 2020 and in consultation with the WA Police Commissioner the WA Government has introduced new temporary restrictions on takeaway alcohol across the State.

These restrictions are not intended to stop people from having a responsible drink. 

They are temporary, sensible measures that will help ensure our State is in a strong position to respond to COVID-19. 

Alcohol-related issues take up an enormous amount of resources in our health system and the WA Government simply cannot afford to spare during the COVID-19 situation.

The new restrictions come into effect immediately, from 10.00am, Wednesday, 25 March 2020. 

The new restrictions will be introduced for a two-week period, and will be extended or altered at any time if necessary.

Existing takeaway restrictions in particular communities will remain in place.

Under the changes, takeaway alcohol will be limited to the following amounts, per customer, each day:

  • One carton of beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits; or
  • Three bottles of wine; or
  • One litre of spirits; or
  • One litre of fortified wine; or
  • A combination of any two of the above (but not a combination of two of the same product).

Places of social gathering

Prohibited activities and venues

New restrictions will form part of the WA Government response to COVID-19, to ramp up social distancing across the WA community. The restrictions are necessary, if we want to slow the spread of the virus.

Drastic measures had already been put in place, particularly with the closure of a wide range of venues already. However, there have still been far too many people ignoring the advice and congregating in groups and putting each other, and the entire community, at risk.

Read more about the detailed restrictions on our Coronavirus: COVID-19 Community advice page.

Restrictions on social gatherings

Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed to implement, through state and territory laws, new Stage 1 restrictions on social gatherings.

Western Australians should expect these measures to be reviewed and could be in place for at least 6 months.

The following facilities have closed from midday local time 23 March 2020:

  • pubs, registered and licenced clubs, hotel bars (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues)
  • gyms and indoor sporting venues 
  • cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • large religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies)
  • libraries and cultural institutions
  • restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery.

These measures also apply to outdoor spaces associated with the above venues.

Travel

The WA Government has now put in place a 'do not travel' ban on Western Australians travelling overseas.

This is in addition to the Level 4 - Do Not Travel advice.

Exemptions include for those citizens ordinarily resident overseas, where travel is essential or necessary, where travel is in our national interest, and on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.

Domestic

  • From 1.30pm (AWST) Tuesday, March 24 2020, Western Australia will implement strict border controls for all access points — by road, rail, air and sea.
  • Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.

International

  • On Friday, 20 March 2020, the WA Premier authorised the Police Commissioner to stop any non-Australians who arrive at WA ports, from disembarking the ship. Those people will be required to stay on the ship, until arrangements have been made for them to be privately transported to the airport to fly to their home country. These orders will be made under the Emergency Management Act.
  • Australia’s borders will be closed to everyone except for Australian residents, citizens and their family members. It will come into effect at 6.00pm or 1800 AWST on Friday, 20 March 2020.
  • The Australian Government announced level-four travel advice for Australia: Do not travel.

For more information regarding domestic and international travel visit the travel advice page.

Events

  • Non-essential indoor and outdoor gatherings have been banned by the Australian Government.
  • National Cabinet agreed to risk mitigation measures
  • The medical advice is clear and National Cabinet has introduced one person, per four square metres (2m X 2m) of floor space.

For more information see COVID-19 Community Advice and Business and Industry Advice.

Latest health updates

Western Australian Government

Australian Government

Global Updates


This information is subject to change frequently.

Page reviewed 29 March 2020
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