Places of worship to operate at a greater capacity under health advice

  • New exemptions introduced to remove 2 square metre rule in places of worship
  • From today, places of worship will be able to operate at 60 per cent capacity
  • Follows latest WA health advice to keep WA safe and strong
  • Places of worship will be required to maintain contact registers from December 5
  • Places of worship must continue to adhere to COVID Safety Plan and guidelines
  • Effective from today, places of worship will be exempt from the 2 square metre rule and will be able to operate at a 60 per cent capacity, (if a higher capacity), following the latest Western Australian public health advice.

    Advice from the Western Australian Chief Health Officer, which takes into account the latest epidemiology and COVID-19 risk profiles, has resulted in places of worship being exempt from the 2 square metre rule and follows other selected venues being precluded from the rule.

    The State Government recently announced that contact registers will be introduced at prescribed businesses and venues from December 5, 2020 – including places of worship.

    This contact register can be in electronic or written form, including by using the SafeWA app, as an extra COVID-safe measure.

    Records would only be used for COVID-19 contact tracing, should it be required, and will be only be kept for 28 days and not used for any other purpose.

    SafeWA can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

    A written contact register must also be available for people who choose not to use the app.

    Places of worship must also update and adhere to its COVID Safety Plan which outlines how as a premise it will mitigate the risks of COVID-19 in line with the best available health advice.

    This gives visitors, staff and the public confidence that the premise is maintaining sensible safety precautions including good hygiene and other COVID safe measures to keep WA safe.

    WA remains highly susceptible to a major outbreak, given nearly all physical distancing and gathering restrictions have been removed, and while the 2 square metre rule does act as an impediment to some other sectors, it is in place to better protect the health of the community.

    The State Government will continue to review these restrictions to determine if COVID-safe solutions are possible in the future. 

    For more information on COVID-19 changes, visit https://www.wa.gov.au

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “Western Australia has come so far and benefited significantly as a result of us being cautious, staying the course and following WA’s expert health advice.

    “I’m glad we can take this step and thank those people for their patience and understanding, while we assessed the situation before making this decision.

    “It’s pleasing we are able to continue to make adjustments that allow Western Australians to resume life in a relatively normal manner.

    “It’s important we embrace COVID-safe principles and abide by the health advice that has long protected us.”

    As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:

    “Given nearly all COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed, WA is highly susceptible to a major outbreak so it’s vital we keep up the hygiene and COVID-safe practices.

    “WA has been kept safe due to our strict quarantine arrangements, strong contract tracing and testing regime and we need to maintain this as we continue down the path out of the COVID world.

    “In order to maintain WA’s safe and strong position we won’t take any unnecessary risks and will always follow the WA-relevant health advice that has protected Western Australians and kept us COVID-free for nearly eight months.”

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