The Western Australia Government has confirmed that all remaining restrictions on the state’s hospitality venues will be removed from Friday.

The news means that Tasmania is now the only state or territory with density limits, although some still require venues to develop and maintain COVID safety plans.

The Australian Hotels Association WA has applauded the news, with CEO Bradley Woods saying the move sends a strong signal that the state is nearing the end of the pandemic.

“It is no exaggeration to say this is the best news that WA’s hotels and hospitality venues have had in over two years,” Woods said.

“Bars, hotels, pubs, taverns, restaurants and function centres across the state will be celebrating this afternoon, as will all Western Australians who have understandably grown tired of the restrictions associated with the pandemic.

“Since March 2020, hospitality venues have navigated a multitude of ever-changing public health measures, which has placed great challenges on the industry and the staff who have been responsible for implementing them.

“The McGowan Government should be commended for achieving the ‘soft landing’ we had hoped for, with a very low number of COVID-19 deaths and the quick removal of the remaining restrictions.

“While hotels and hospitality venues will be raising a glass to today’s announcement, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the critical task of recovery remains ahead.

“There is significant hesitancy in the community to return to work or visit hospitality venues, which is having a serious impact on the viability of many businesses, particularly in Perth’s CBD.

“WA’s success in managing COVID-19 can largely be attributed to the close collaboration between industry and government, so we look forward to this level of cooperation continuing as venues seek to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“Specifically, we hope consideration is given to an incentive program similar to successful schemes in other jurisdictions, which has stimulated spending, reinvigorated hospitality venues and encouraged patrons to get out and about.”

The restrictions and requirements across Australia are:

ACT – Licensed venues, cafes, restaurants and food courts and night clubs must develop and maintain a COVID Safety Plan. The Plan must be produced if requested by an authorised officer. Licensed bars, pubs, and registered clubs are required to use Check In CBR.

New South Wales – hospitality venues in NSW are open. Drinking indoors may be seated or standing, and there are no longer any density limits for venues. There are no restrictions on singing or dancing. COVID Safety plans are now optional for businesses, venues and events.

Northern Territory – People can freely visit hospitality venues. You can drink alcohol without ordering food. All licensed gaming activities — including TABs — can open. Customers should follow the 1.5 metres physical-distancing rule at all venues. Proof of vaccination to enter these venues is no longer needed.

Queensland – The Public Health and Social Measure linked to vaccination Direction was revoked on 14 April 2022, ending the requirement to check-in and to be fully vaccinated in pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants and events.

South Australia – As of 15 April density limits no longer apply at hospitality venues, although COVID Management Plans are required for events of more than 1000 people.

Tasmania – Hospitality venues can accept up to 250 people per undivided indoor space and up to 500 people per undivided outdoor area at any one time. The density limit at venues is one person per two square metres. There are no limits to the number of people who can dance and drink while standing at events and venues where alcohol is primarily served. However, all patrons must be fully vaccinated or have a valid medical exemption from vaccination. Patrons must provide contact details and the time of entry of at least one member of their group.

Victoria – The Victorian Government announced that most COVID-19 restrictions were removed from 11:59pm, Friday 22 April 2022. Patrons won’t be required to have two doses or show their vaccination status before entering any venue. The requirement for staff and patrons of venues to check-in using the Service Victoria app will end, with operators not required to keep any attendance records or maintain a COVID-19 Check-in Marshal. The existing two-dose and three-dose vaccination mandates for workers are still required.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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