Restrictions are expected to be dropped altogether on July 18th as active Western Australian coronavirus cases are contained to single digits.
With Western Australia's COVID-19 cases reported to be in the single digits, the state has entered its fourth phase of easing restrictions, meaning nightclubs, pubs, restaurants and bars are able to operate under a two-square-metre-per-person rule dictating capacity. Physical distancing is being encouraged rather than strictly enforced, with the state government urging clubbers to avoid kissing and holding hands, the ABC reports.
Nightspots like Geisha Bar opened their doors at 11:59 PM on Saturday, June 27th, with video on social media showing packed lines and mingled dance floors reminiscent of pre-pandemic times. Other venues like Connections Nightclub have opted to delay reopening until at least July 18th, when the two-square-metre rule is expected to be scrapped as restriction easing enters phase five. By that point, the only remaining restriction will be the state's borders remaining closed to the rest of the country.
Elsewhere in Australia, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has indicated that clubs across Sydney and the state could be allowed to reopen as early as August, although a limit of one person per four square metres will likely be enforced. Victoria, meanwhile, is in the midst of a spike in coronavirus cases which may interrupt planned reopening for Melbourne venues and require localised lockdowns.
Last week Australia's federal government announced a $250 million relief package to the arts and culture industry, with $75 million of that being dedicated to grants for festivals and events. As of April 27th, community reporting initiative I Lost My Gig Australia has tallied up industry-wide losses of $340 million as a direct result of the pandemic.