Western Australia is taking steps towards reopening bars and restaurants with a new hygiene training course as more than 250 Australians who arrived on a flight from South Africa are quarantined.
The state’s only new confirmed case of COVID-19 overnight is a 19-year-old woman who travelled overseas.
It brings WA’s total cases to 551 but only 43 remain active, including 15 from the plagued Artania cruise ship and two from interstate.
Fourteen COVID-19 patients are in metropolitan hospitals, including four in intensive care.
The WA government on April 29 announced a COVID-19 hygiene training assessment, which will be compulsory for the state’s 70,000 hospitality workers.
Anyone employed at a cafe, bar or restaurant, all of which are currently restricted to takeaway and delivery orders, must complete the free course before the establishments can reopen.
Premier Mark McGowan says it is an important step towards an industry restart.
“I know the first question will be ‘Does this mean cafes and bars and restaurants are all about to reopen?’ No, it doesn’t,” he said.
“We still have to accept the medical and health advice in that regard.
“But we want to make sure that when they do reopen, we have the best and safest and healthiest environment available, and staff are protected and customers are protected as well.”
Meanwhile, an aircraft carrying 256 Australians arrived in Perth from South Africa on Wednesday, including about 86 locals.
Following health checks, 211 passengers, including more than 40 children, were sent to Rottnest Island for their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
Unwell people and those with complex health needs are staying at the Pan Pacific hotel in Perth so they can be close to hospitals if required.
A flight from India carrying about 130 people is also expected to arrive this week while an arrival from France stopped for fuel only.
“I think in the future you can probably envisage there will be a situation where we test everyone that comes from overseas,” Health Minister Roger Cook said.
Schools began term two on Wednesday, with cleaning increased throughout the day as well as staggered starts, breaks and meal times to reduce contact.
Parents can keep their children at home for remote learning for the first three weeks of the term but year 11 and 12 students are urged to physically attend school.
By Michael Ramsey and Angie Raphael