Western Australia’s Public Schools Virus Restrictions Eased

Australian Associated Press is an Australian news agency.
June 8, 2020Updated: June 8, 2020

Restrictions for Western Australia’s public schools have eased, while a social housing investment to boost the state’s COVID-19 hit economy has been welcomed.

Under the changes on Monday, activities such as assemblies, excursions, choirs and examinations can resume, limited to 100 people indoors and 300 people outdoors.

School camps and a dine-in service at canteens will also be permitted for up to 100 people.

“Parents and carers play a big part in school communities and it’s great that schools will be able to welcome them back on-site to meet with staff and attend assemblies and events, in line with physical distancing guidelines,” Education Minister Sue Ellery said.

Sports training and swimming classes can also recommence, and senior students can engage in work placements, provided employers comply with COVID-19 guidelines.

But the advice for boarding schools and residential colleges remains under review.

The state government’s $444 million cash splash on home-building and renovation work, announced on Sunday, has been largely applauded.

The bulk of the package is to improve social housing across the state, including in remote Aboriginal communities.

The goal is to refurbish 1500 homes, deliver about 250 new dwellings and rollout maintenance programs for 3800 regional homes.

ShelterWA welcomed the investment but said there was a shortfall of 39,000 social housing properties and more than 14,000 people on the waitlist before the pandemic.

Services were unable to respond to a jump in calls for housing assistance during the crisis, leaving people living on the street.

“This investment will go some way in addressing the years of chronic underfunding of social housing,” ShelterWA chief executive Michelle Mackenzie said.

WA recorded no new COVID-19 cases overnight but still has 31 active coronavirus cases, with 20 of those among crew from the Al Kuwait live export ship, which docked in Fremantle on May 22.

Health officials are meeting Crown Perth representatives on Wednesday to discuss options for reopening the gaming floor.