Based on the latest health advice from the Chief Health Officer, Phase 4 of the WA roadmap will be extended for a two-month period and the 2020 Perth Royal Show will no longer go ahead as planned.
The State Government today made the announcement, stating the extra cautious approach was necessary given the Chief Health Officer, Dr Andrew Robertson, had advised that it could take two months or longer for the outbreaks in Victoria to be fully under control.
Originally the tentative start date for Phase 5 was July 17, when first announced in June. Since then due to the situation over east, the State Government has extended Phase 4 three separate times, each for a two-week period.
The Chief Health Officer recommended a further extension of Phase 4 by two months, meaning the new tentative start date of Phase 5 will now be Saturday, October 24 (effective from 11.59pm Friday, October 23).
It is expected the State Government will likely provide clarity in October about whether or not Western Australia can proceed with this timeline or bring it forward, based on the latest health advice.
Phase 5 would result in the removal of the two square metre rule – designed to ease the burden on businesses compared to the more problematic four square metre rule being used in other parts of the country. It would also see the removal of the 50 per cent capacity limit for major venues such as Optus Stadium.
In light of this decision, the Chief Health Officer has also recommended that the 2020 Perth Royal Show not proceed.
From a public health perspective, the Royal Show provides a number of unique challenges and presents too great a risk.
The State Government will work with the Royal Agricultural Society about other regional shows, pending advice from the Chief Health Officer.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Given the situation over east and our latest health advice, proceeding to Phase 5 too soon is just not appropriate.
“I know this will cause frustration and problems for some sections of the community, but we are trying to find the right balance here, between protecting our community and keeping our economy as open as possible.
“The decision on the Royal Show will come as a disappointment for many people, but right now we just cannot afford to take an unnecessary risk.”
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“What is always uppermost in our decision-making is the health and safety of Western Australians.
“The fact we find ourselves in such a fortunate situation has been due to the sensible behaviour of Western Australians and following the latest health advice along every step of this difficult journey.
“We have seen in Victoria just how quickly the virus can take hold, devastating families and communities while dealing with restrictive lockdowns.
“We need to continue to be cautious so that we don’t lose the freedom that we have all worked so hard for.”
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“While the decision to cancel the 2020 Perth Royal Show will be disappointing for families across the State, we have to put the health and safety of the community first.
“We will work closely with the Royal Agricultural Society to make sure they can deliver a vibrant Perth Royal Show in future years.”