Coronavirus-related takeaway alcohol restrictions have been lifted in Western Australia, with the state government saying the community has acted responsibly.
The temporary restrictions were put in place in late March to minimise alcohol-related problems and ensure no extra pressure was placed on the health system, police or community sectors during the outbreak.
“These measures were put in place to ensure those essential workers could focus on the state’s response to COVID-19, and the WA public has acted commendably during this period,” Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia said on Monday.
The announcement comes after Health Minister Roger Cook said the state government expected increasing pressure to ease restrictions if new case numbers remained low.
Only two new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the state over the weekend, suggesting the disease was under control in WA, Mr Cook said.
Eventual loosening of restrictions would be done in small steps to keep a stranglehold on outbreaks and measure the impact of such decisions.
“I think we will come under increasing pressure given that we’ve got great numbers coming through – that’s a great problem to have,” Mr Cook told reporters on Sunday.
The minister also announced a three-stage plan to increase ventilator capacity in public hospitals by more than 660 from a baseline of 111, including using private hospital assets.
The plan includes the purchase of an additional 301 ventilators, the first of which are due to arrive this month.
As of Sunday, WA had 545 cases in total, with about 40 per cent linked to cruise ships, while 426 people had recovered.