April 14, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: Tourism Western Australia

The 500-person cap for hospitality and event venues lifted in Western Australia from one minute after midnight this morning, while a new close contact definition may reduce the isolation burden for event attendees.

The changes announced by WA Premier Mark McGowan yesterday also include the rolling back of mandatory venue check-ins, with hospitals now the only place where check in is required.

While capacity limits have eased, WA continues to operate under a one-person-per-two-square-metres density limit and vaccination remains mandatory for hospitality venues, indoor entertainment venues, the Crown complex, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, stadiums, indoor events with over 500 attendees, outdoor music events and outdoor events deemed high risk. Masks are also still required indoors.

McGowan also announced changes to the definition of close contacts in WA, to bring the state in line with the majority of Australia. Before this morning, in addition to household contacts, a close contact in WA was defined as someone who had spent 15 minutes face-to-face with a positive COVID case during their infectious period, if both parties were not wearing masks, or someone who had two hours in a small room with a positive case during their infectious period, where neither were wearing a mask.

Now close contacts in WA will be reduced to household contacts and intimate partners and those who have spent more than four hours with a positive case in a household like setting.

Western Australia appears to have past its Omicron peak, with 7,426 new cases reported yesterday.

Meanwhile, South Australia is dropping its indoor mask mandate from tomorrow for all but high risk settings like hospitals, aged care, residential disability care and correctional settings. The requirement to check in to most venues will also be parked for now.