Here’s a more detailed story from AAP about the state of play in Western Australia, which again recorded no new Covid-19 cases today.
In short, a decision about the crowd size for Sunday’s AFL derby between West Coast and Fremantle, and what restrictions in general will lift on Saturday night, is expected to be made during a state disaster council meeting today:
Western Australia has again recorded no new local coronavirus cases ahead of a decision on plans to ease post-lockdown restrictions.
Four new cases were recorded in hotel quarantine on Thursday among travellers who returned via India.
Interim restrictions remain in place in Perth and the Peel region until 12.01am on Saturday, including mandatory face masks and limits on gatherings.
It’s not yet known which restrictions will continue beyond that point.
Premier Mark McGowan says the state disaster council will meet later today.
“If we have an outcome this evening, which I expect we will, we’ll be able to provide advice to the people this evening,” he said.
Decisions will include what size crowd will be allowed to attend Sunday’s AFL derby between West Coast and Fremantle at the 60,000-capacity Optus stadium. Last weekend’s Fremantle-North Melbourne clash at the stadium was played without a crowd.
Some hospitality venues have opted to remain closed until restrictions are eased, with initial treasury estimates suggesting a $70m hit to the economy. Pubs and restaurants are limited to a maximum of 20 patrons.
WA’s Labor-dominated 41st parliament officially opens on Thursday with MPs wearing masks and the public prevented from attending.
McGowan has announced three “high-risk” quarantine hotels – the Mercure, Sheraton Four Points and Novotel Langley – will stop taking returned travellers from as early as mid-May.
“Whilst they are very secure, obviously they’re not perfect and the ventilation systems there we can’t make perfect. So we’re going to move out of those,” he said.
A halving of WA’s cap on international arrivals to 512 a week is in place for the next month.
The decision to close three quarantine hotels will result in an indefinite reduction in WA’s intake from the previous cap of a 1,025 a week.
Opposition leader Mia Davies said the lockdown could have been avoided had the government acted on warnings about ventilation issues within its quarantine hotels: “The government has put families, communities and businesses at risk without warning and without compensation.”