Major events and venues in Western Australia will see crowd restrictions and size limits scrapped from Wednesday as it moves into phase five of its COVID-19 roadmap.

The further easing of rules includes the removal of the two-square-meter social distancing rule, as well as the 75 per cent capacity limit for hospitality and entertainment venues in the state that includes the major city of Perth.

The move also means that major events of all kinds, such as festivals, can kick off again this week with no limits on size or crowds and venues such as music halls, nightclubs and museums able to open at 100 per cent capacity.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said in an announcement yesterday: “This change follows updated health advice, and means that Western Australia will continue to lead the way in having some of the lightest restrictions in the world.”

While the state is moving into phase 5 of its COVID-19 recovery, it will still require the use of contact registers, COVID safety plans for businesses and COVID event plans for large-scale events with more than 500 people.

In addition, Western Australia will maintain its controlled border with travel restrictions to remain in place to some remote Aboriginal communities.

The government has encouraged locals to continue to physically distance where possible, practice good hygiene and get vaccinated when eligible.

Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC), which has been in negotiations with the WA State Government alongside promoters, has welcomed the news

ALMBC chair Stephen Wade said: “Through the work done by the ALMBC we were clearly able to show the WA Government the positive impact the live music economy has on the overall entertainment economy in Perth.”

While the news has been welcomed by the live events industry, the chair of Events Industry Association WA, Tim Kennedy, said it would still be a challenge for organisers to hold events.

He said, according to ABC News: “Events take a considerable amount of lead time and upfront investment to plan. To date, what we’ve seen is that in the event of a lockdown, events usually get cancelled almost immediately.

“Western Australia has been very open about being extremely conservative, in so far as how they react to potential outbreaks. While we can plan bigger events now and try and get back to some sort of normality, there is that hesitation [about] getting them off the ground.”

Image: Moses / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic / Edited for size