Covid 19 Restrictions Updated: Stage 3 in WA
As of this past weekend (June 5 2020) WA has entered ‘stage 3’ of the Covid Roadmap. This means that WA is beginning to cautiously reopen and increase the capacity of venues and facilities. The state is also increasing the size limitations for indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings. Ultimately life is slowly returning to normal.
THE FOLLOWING CHANGES HAVE OCCURRED:
- Indoor and outdoor gatherings can now have up to 100 people – however there must still be 2-square meters of space per person. Where there are multiple spaces in a venue up to 300 patrons are permitted across all spaces in total (the ‘100/300 rule’);
- Weddings and funerals can have up to 100 attendees;
- Restaurants, cafes and bars (including food courts) can have dine-in patrons – but with seated service only;
- Bars can serve alcohol without a meal purchase;
- Beauty, health and wellbeing services (such as nail and waxing salons, massage, sauna and wellness centres) can reopen;
- Leisure and recreational venues may re-open (including gyms, pools, indoor sport centres, playgrounds, theatres, galleries, the Perth Zoo and Rottnest Island);
- Community halls and facilities can reopen (following the 100/300 rule above);
- Parents may enter school grounds to drop off and pick up their children (subject to each school’s own policies) ;
- Regional Travel is permitted WA-wide including to the Kimberly (pending approval and removal of the biosecurity area). The only remaining exception is travel to remote Aboriginal communities;
- Crown Casino, for gambling purposes, still remains closed during phase 3.
A full outline of what Phase 3 means for you can be found on the WA Government website.
DO PENALTIES STILL APPLY FOR BREACHING RESTRICTIONS?
A number of restrictions are still in place and penalties still apply for breaching the restrictions. Anyone, or any business, found breaching the 100/300 rule faces a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 12 months or a fine of $50,000, and a fine of $5000 for each separate and further breach.
If the breach is committed by a company the maximum fine is increased to $250,000.
An on the spot-fine of $1000 may be given (or $5000 for a company) instead of being prosecuted.
Penalties also remain in place for breaching inter-state border closures and the requirement for all new international and interstate arrivals to WA to quarantine for 14 days. There are still travel exemptions required for interstate travel and travel to remote Aboriginal communities.
Completion of quarantine periods are also still required in order to avoid a criminal charge. You can read about the possible penalties for breaching quarantine here
WILL COVID CONTINUE TO IMPACT CRIMINAL COURT MATTERS?
For now criminal proceedings in all courts will still be following the COVID guidelines and directions previously issued by each court. Proceedings that are already listed such as jury trials and sentencings are still facing delays in some cases and new jury trials are not being listed until well into 2021.
Read more about these Government directions, police powers and what that means for criminal court matters.
WHEN WILL MORE CHANGES BE COMING?
The WA government has advised that ‘stage 4’ is still being finalised and that while life inside WA may be closer to normal – interstate border closures will remain in place and are likely to be the final restriction lifted.
The WA government has also advised that if an outbreak does occur after restrictions are lifted, health experts will be consulted and an appropriate response will be implemented.
Andrew Williams is an experienced criminal lawyer. If you are concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on you or your loved one’s court matter, or are concerned about possible criminal penalties related to Covid-19, contact the Law Offices of Andrew Williams on (08) 9278 2575 or enquire online today.
Andrew Williams Barrister and Solicitor remains open during these changing times and is ready to assist those in need of criminal legal advice and assistance.
Related Article: COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS UPDATED: PHASE 2 IN WA