Nightclubs reopen as WA's virus rules ease
Western Australia is monitoring Victoria's COVID-19 outbreak as the state prepares to further ease restrictions this weekend, including allowing nightclub dance floors and the casino gaming floor to reopen. Health Minister Roger Cook said community spread in Victoria was concerning and showed what WA might need to do in the event of an outbreak in a suburb or community group. "Every system will be tested over the coming months and we have to anticipate that at some point that system will have a gap in it and the disease will get through, so we have to manage those outbreaks," he told reporters on Friday. "We can't eliminate the disease. We can control it ... by the WA public doing the right thing ... (and) through restrictions." Mr Cook urged people to use common sense when phase four of eased restrictions begin at midnight. "Police will not be out there tonight with a 1.5m ruler on the dance floor ensuring people stay apart," he said. He also offered dating advice as the threat of COVID-19 remains. "Take small steps," he said. "Pease, let's not dive in. It's important to protect yourself." Premier Mark McGowan remained firm on keeping interstate borders closed for now, citing new cases in Victoria. "We've got our economy open in part because of the fact that we have the hard border with the east and secondly because we have low infection rates," he said. "If you go out to our entertainment precincts ... our tourism businesses in regional WA, you'll find many of them are operating above what they were before because there's such pent up demand." WA recorded no new infections overnight but four active cases are in hotel quarantine. KEY CHANGES UNDER PHASE FOUR IN WA: * Gathering limits only determined by WA's 2sqm rule * Removal of seated service requirements at food outlets and licensed premises * No requirement to maintain a patron register * Alcohol can be served to unseated patrons * Events permitted except large-scale music festivals * Unseated performances allowed at concert halls, live music venues, bars, pubs and nightclubs * Gyms can be unstaffed but require regular cleaning * Casino gaming floor to reopen under temporary restrictions * A 50 per cent capacity at major sport and entertainment venues.
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