Face masks mandatory beyond WA lockdown

West Australians will be required to wear face masks while out in public and be restricted to seated service at bars and restaurants for another week when the state emerges from lockdown.

WA has posted four consecutive days of no new community COVID-19 cases, paving the way for metropolitan Perth, the Peel region and South West to exit lockdown at 6pm on Friday.

But Premier Mark McGowan has announced a range of restrictions will remain in place for Perth and Peel until 1201am on Sunday February 14.

All residents, including teachers and high school students, must wear masks while outside of their homes except for during vigorous outdoor exercise.

A 20-person limit will be imposed on all private indoor gatherings while a four square metre rule and a cap of 150 attendees will apply to hospitality and retail venues and weddings.

Restaurants, pubs and bars can only have seated service and only essential travel is permitted in and out of the combined Perth and Peel regions.

No restrictions will remain for the South West.

“I wish we could just snap back immediately to the life we had last week but doing so would be too risky,” Mr McGowan said in a late-night press conference on Thursday.

“It would be irresponsible. I don’t want a situation where we have to endure community transmission and the severe restrictions that brings.

“I don’t want a rolling, long-term lockdown. We have to do everything we can to prevent that.”

Almost 43,000 tests have been conducted over the course of the five-day lockdown which was entered into after a security guard at the Sheraton Four Points hotel unwittingly roamed the streets of Perth while infectious.

Contact tracers have identified 191 close contacts and 189 have so far tested negative.

Officials are continuing to investigate how the guard contracted the highly contagious UK strain of the virus from a sick guest.

The guard had been stationed on a chair about three metres from the guest’s room but they are not believed to have had any face-to-face contact.

Authorities believe the guest may have transmitted the virus through either airborne transmission or surface contamination.

Anyone working in a “high-risk situation” in quarantine hotels is now required to wear a face mask and protective eyewear at all times.

The government will also introduce saliva tests between shifts for hotel quarantine workers.