Western Australians are only a week away from significantly easing restrictions on coronaviruses, with the government taking action it says will restore life and vitality to the state.
From May 18, residents will be encouraged to return to work and the limit for group gatherings will be doubled to 20 people.
Cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs will be permitted to serve meals for up to 20 customers with the same number of people permitted at indoor weddings and funerals.
Outdoor and indoor sports training and contactless competitions will now be available for groups of up to 20 people with the same restrictions to apply to churches and other places of worship.
Regional travel restrictions will also be relaxed, but the state’s hard border with the rest of the country will remain in effect for the foreseeable future and may not be lifted this year.
Premier Mark McGowan says the changes will help shake up the state’s economy.
“We have chosen things that create the most jobs, the most life, the most vitality and put more people back to work in the safest way possible,” he said.
Opposition Leader Liza Harvey welcomed the measures, but said the government needed to detail a more comprehensive plan to create jobs.
“This health crisis is now a jobs crisis,” she said.
More information on 7NEWS.com.au
Phase three of WA’s takeover is expected to be introduced around mid-June and include a further increase in the size of most gatherings, the return of community contact sport as well as the reopening of galleries, museums and cinemas and resumption of beauty therapy services.
WA reported no new viral infections on Sunday, leaving the state with 552 and just seven active cases.
Four people remain hospitalized, one of whom is in intensive care.