WA prepares to relax coronavirus restrictions despite recording first COVID-19 case in nine days

Western Australia’s roadmap to ease coronavirus restrictions will be laid out in full by the end of the weekend as the state recorded one new case overnight, breaking its eight-day streak of no positive tests.

Premier Mark McGowan said the plan to be released on Sunday would provide West Australians with a “safe and sensible” way to ease restrictions.

“That way everyone can see the way forward for Western Australia out of this crisis,” Mr McGowan said.

“Whatever decisions we make here in Western Australia will be done on health advice and it is important that no-one gets complacent during this period.”

The new COVID-19 case is a 29-year-old man who had recently returned from overseas.

He has been in quarantine at a Perth hotel since his arrival.

Prior to today, WA had recorded no new cases of the virus for more than a week.

“However, we always knew we would get more cases as people returned from overseas or interstate.

“The good news here is that we have systems in place to ensure any spread of the virus is limited.”

Three more people have recovered from the disease, leaving just nine active cases in the state.

It means a total of 534 West Australians have recovered from COVID-19.

Four people remain in hospital, with one of them in intensive care.

Economy the focus in easing restrictions

Mr McGowan will join the National Cabinet meeting this morning where Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders will map out the pathway forward to ease some baseline restrictions across Australia.

A handwritten sign taped to the front of a cafe in Trinity Arcade says it's reopening for takeaway.
The focus in WA will be on getting people back to work, the Premier says.(ABC News: James Carmody)

“It will then be up to states and territories to work out a plan on how and when to implement an easing of restrictions,” Mr McGowan said.

“Although there might be some similarities, it won’t be the same for each jurisdiction. Each state and territory will be different.

“Here in Western Australia we will do the best for our people and our state.”

The Premier will then convene a State Disaster Council meeting later today to discuss the state’s roadmap to easing restrictions.

He said while the easing of restrictions in WA had so far focused on social aspects of life and schools, the next stage would prioritise the economy.

“Back then, we were focused more on the social aspects of our lives and, as a result of this success, we now have some confidence to take further steps,” he said.

“This time the focus will be more heavily on the West Australian economy. How can we get our economy going again? How can we start the process of getting people back to work?

“Western Australia’s approach to easing restrictions and getting our lives back to normal will always be done through the lens of what is safe for the health of our citizens.”

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