Optus Stadium in Perth will be able to fill half its capacity for the AFL western derby on Sunday. Image by Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS


WA tightens border to NSW arrivals

2020-07-19 18:16:09

Western Australia’s exemption list for NSW arrivals is getting even shorter as the state monitors COVID-19 outbreaks in the eastern states.

From 11.59pm on Sunday, exemptions will only be granted to certain senior government officials, certain active military personnel, federal MPs and their staff.

People carrying out functions under commonwealth laws, anyone requested by the chief health officer, and transport, freight and logistics workers will also be eligible for exemptions.

The tougher regime on NSW arrivals is in line with WA’s approach to coronavirus-stricken Victoria and will be in place for an initial two weeks.

Meanwhile, the AFL western derby on Sunday will be WA’s second mass gathering in four days.

It was hoped the state would move to the final phase of eased restrictions before the event, allowing Perth’s Optus Stadium to reach its full capacity of 60,000.

But the date was pushed back to August 1 due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria, so the crowd is capped at half-capacity of 30,000 to ensure social distancing.

Thursday night’s clash between Geelong and Collingwood was attended by more than 22,000 spectators.

Medical associations warned against such a large crowd, fearing just one infected footy fan could cause an outbreak.

WA recorded three new cases on Saturday with one still active, a man who flew in on an Emirates flight from Dubai as part of a maritime crew swap-over. 

It is the 20th case identified from the July 1 flight and brings the state’s total number of active cases to 25.