Perth weathers the storm, residents roll up for WA

08 Jul 2021

By Matthew Lau

People await their COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in Joondalup. Photo: Supplied.

Western Australia’s third snap lockdown of 2021 meant places of worship across the Archdiocese of Perth were last weekend limited to 20 people with the four-sqm rule applied, resulting in many parishes cancelling Sunday Mass services.

Perth Metropolitan and Peel Region entered a four-day lockdown from 29 June to 2 July (inclusive), with COVID-19 measures alleviated into three days of interim restrictions from 3 July to 5 July (inclusive).

The Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB, Archbishop of Perth, released communications to the clergy and laity with immediacy once the State Government announced the constraints.

The easing of restrictions between 6 July to 11 July (inclusive) necessitates the following:

  • facemasks continue to be mandatory indoors, including the workplace and on public transport;
  • private gatherings of up to 30 visitors for home gatherings;
  • a 150-person limit in place for outdoor private gatherings with the two-sqm rule in effect (including weddings and funerals);
  • places of worship may have a 150-person limit with the two-sqm rule; and,
  • visits to hospitals, aged/disability care facilities are permitted with only four visitors permitted each day/per person, and facemask-wearing mandatory for staff and visitors.

Further updates relevant to the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth will be communicated on an ongoing basis in response to these developing circumstances and made available on the dedicated coronavirus page on the Archdiocesan website:

Statistics of the total vaccine dose dated 6 July 2021. Photo: Sourced.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (ScoMo) posted an update on his Facebook page on 7 July after the state of New South Wales had its lockdown extended for another week until 16 July.

“I know people will be feeling a range of emotions over this decision. This pandemic, which has wreaked havoc across the world, is continuing to disrupt our lives,” he said.

“But we need to do everything we can to get on top of this Delta variant of COVID-19.

“We are also continuing to do everything we possibly can to get Australians vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Mr Morrison added.

“We’ll get through this together by continuing to look out for each other and following the measures put in place by [state governments].”

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine roadmap data, as of 6 July, shows more than 8.5 million vaccine doses had been administered to Australian residents.

COVID-19 Live statistics, as of 8 July, reports 12 active cases in WA with about 790,000 vaccine doses administered and more than 1.4 million tests conducted. Currently, 29.2 per cent of WA residents aged 16+ have received their first dosage, with 8.1 per cent who have gotten their second dosage.

The Prime Minister met with the National Cabinet on 2 July to discuss Australia’s pandemic response, recent outbreaks of the virus, and the Australian COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy.

National Cabinet agreed to formulate a National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 response from its current pre-vaccination settings to post-vaccination settings, implementing protocols that include:

  • offer every Australian an opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible;
  • lockdowns to be used only as a last resort; and,
  • temporarily reduce current commercial passenger arrivals caps by 50 per cent because of increased risks from the Delta variant.

Its “Consolidation Phase” objective to manage coronavirus as an infectious disease like any other in the community could involve:

  • no lockdowns;
  • no domestic restrictions for vaccinated residents; and,
  • easing open international borders with no caps on returning vaccinated travellers.