WA’s coronavirus total hits 205

WA’s number of coronavirus cases has risen, as the McGowan Government introduced further restrictions amid stricter Federal Government measures to slow COVID-19.

The state has 30 new recorded cases of the virus, taking the total from 175 yesterday to 205 with cases including from regional WA and cruise ships.

Eight of cases are from regional WA including four in South West WA and one each in the Kimberley, Great Southern, Pilbara and Wheatbelt.

Five cases involved cruise ship passengers.

Ships The Ruby Princess, Celebrity Solstice and Voyager of the Seas each recorded one case while the Mediterranean Costa had two cases.

The cases take the number of recorded cases from cruise ships to 47.

The coronavirus situation involving cruise ships has become more significant with more ships joining others set to reach Fremantle.

The Vasco de Gama cruise ship is due to arrive at Fremantle Port on Friday, but all 800 Australians will be self-isolating for 14 days on Rottnest Island, while all crew and foreign nationals will remain onboard until they are flown out of the country.

“I’m not going to take any chances on this issue,” Premier Mark McGowan said.

Another ship, the Artania has about 25 passengers and crew onboard with respiratory symptoms among more than 800 foreign passengers and 500 crew and was due to arrive at Fremantle for refuelling.

The ship has requested assistance.

Meanwhile, the Magnifica departed Fremantle on Tuesday after refuelling with all passengers and crew kept onboard, but was told overnight that it would not be allowed back in Dubai so it headed back.

The Magnifica and Artania must remain at anchor off the coast with passengers to stay aboard.

“There are no circumstances where we will allow passengers or crew to wander the streets in our State,” Mr McGowan said.

Mr McGowan has asked for Commonwealth assistance for both ships to ensure neither attempt to disembark.

WA brings in temporary alcohol buying restrictions to prevent panic buying

The McGowan Government introduced temporary restrictions for takeaway alcohol to prevent panic buying and excess drinking.

Limitations were placed on how much bottle shops can sell to patrons from 10am this morning for a minimum of two weeks and can be reviewed, altered and extended.

Buyers will restrict people to three bottles of wine, one carton of beer, cider or premix spirits, one litre of spirits or one litre of fortified wine.

However, people will be able to buy across two of the categories.

It will apply across WA except where existing restrictions are already in place.

“This is about what is needed to protect our community right now,” Mr McGowan said.

“These restrictions are not intended to stop people from having a responsible drink. Right now, I don’t want alcohol related problems to be stretching our police force and putting more pressure on our hospital system.”

However, Shadow Minister for Small Business Alyssa Hayden has called for wineries and local producers to be exempt from the liquor restrictions.

“I understand the restrictions are intended to reduce the load on our health system by lowering the number of alcohol-related issues, it is not a workable solution for our local wineries, who have already taken a hit through the closure of their restaurants and cellar doors,” Ms Hayden said.

“If this is not fixed, our local wineries and the families that have operated them, sometimes for generations, may not be able to recover.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced new measures banning a number of leisure activities and stores on Tuesday night to slow the spread of the virus.

Activities and businesses no longer allowed to continue include amusement parks and arcades, play centres, recreation centres, public swimming pools, galleries, museums, libraries, auction houses, real estate auctions and open house inspections, in-store beauty therapy and only takeaway will be allowed from food courts.

Limits were placed on other activities including a maximum of 30 minutes for each customer at hairdressers and barbers, a maximum of 10 people for personal training, a maximum of five people for weddings and funerals limited to 10 people.

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