WA prepares for COVID-19 borders to fall

Michael Ramsey
·2-min read

Western Australia's health minister is confident the state will still be able to hold large events including music festivals once the hard borders come down.

New health guidelines have been released outlining requirements for promoters to ensure "high-risk" events comply with COVID-19 protocols.

High-risk events are classified as those that exceed four hours in duration, have alcohol as a primary or secondary focus, feature a dance floor and mosh pit and a stage or performance area as a focal point leading to very crowded spaces.

It has led to industry concern that some summer events will be unable to comply with requirements and will need to be cancelled.

Health Minister Roger Cook says since the new guidelines came into effect on September 25, the health department has reviewed 161 applications for events attracting at least 500 people.

All but four have been approved, with the promoters of the remaining events asked to provide further information.

"Obviously when you've got big festivals with young people drinking a lot of alcohol, having a great time, our opportunity to practise all those things we know that keep people safe during a COVID-19 pandemic are challenged," Mr Cook said on Tuesday.

"So it's important that we just continue to work with the promoters to understand what they're proposing but also making sure they understand their obligations."

WA will reopen its borders to all states and territories from Saturday, although some restrictions will remain for people from NSW and Victoria.

People who have recently been in those states will be required to enter self-quarantine at a suitable premises under the new "controlled border" regime.

They will also be required to undertake COVID tests upon arrival and on day 11 of their quarantine period.

Arrivals from all other states and territories - deemed "very low risk" jurisdictions - will not be required to quarantine but must undergo health screening, a temperature check and complete an application declaring their recent travel.

"Controlled borders are still the strictest measure we've seen in 100 years in terms of people coming in or out of Western Australia," Premier Mark McGowan said.

"We are very confident it will keep West Australians safe."

WA recorded two new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday - a returned overseas traveller and a maritime crew member who are both in hotel quarantine.