State allows groups of 10 to gather

Western Australia has announced today that it will cautiously relax its coronavirus restrictions, but all are encouraged to continue practising social distancing.

From Monday, up to 10 people will be allowed to gather for non-work activities, as the state recorded another day of no new COVID-19 cases.

Premier Mark McGowan said it was a "cautious relaxation" of restrictions, acknowledging it had been difficult for everyone, but especially the elderly, to not see family and friends during the pandemic.

"We need to remember we remain in a state of emergency," he told reporters on Sunday.

"I strongly encourage that everyone must continue to practice appropriate social distancing."

WA Premier Mark McGowan made the announcement on Sunday. Picture: AAP/Richard Wainwright.
WA Premier Mark McGowan made the announcement on Sunday. Picture: AAP/Richard Wainwright.

 

From Monday, non-contact recreational activities such as picnics in parks, fishing, boating, hiking and camping will be allowed but people must comply with travel restrictions.

Ten people will be allowed at weddings and the 10-person limit remains for funerals.

Outdoor personal training will also be allowed for up to 10 people, provided groups adhere to social distancing and do not share equipment. Open houses and display villages will also be permitted but records must be kept of everyone who enters a home.

Outdoor gyms and playgrounds will stay closed, while food outlets remain restricted to takeaway.

 

"We need to be patient. We need to be careful," Mr McGowan said. "We can't let our guard down on social distancing and good personal hygiene. We cannot slip.

"That's why our borders will remain shut for a long period of time. Our numbers may be low but we need to keep it that way." Western Australia has confirmed a total of 549 coronavirus cases, but only 55 remain active.

There are currently 16 people in Perth hospitals, including four in intensive care.

Health minister Roger Cook said all cases in the Kimberley region, where there is a significant population of vulnerable indigenous people, have recovered.

 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also announced some of the state's strict isolation measures will be relaxed on Saturday, May 2.

Ms Palaszczuk said Queenslanders would be able to shop for non-essential items, go driving and have picnics.

They will also be allowed to meet with people not from their households and travel within 50km of their home.

She stressed the changes were minor and that if Queenslanders did not act sensibly, the restrictions would be enforced again.

Originally published as State allows groups of 10 to gather