Coronavirus in Western Australia: Financial help and advice in your state
Find information on WA government coronavirus policies, state stimulus packages, school and business closures, travel limitations and more.
Western Australian coronavirus help and contact information
This page contains information about coronavirus in the state of Western Australia. We're updating it with the latest government announcements, stimulus packages and financial support for Western Australian residents and businesses struggling because of COVID-19.
- Western Australia has set up a dedicated coronavirus help hotline. Call 1800 020 080.
- The state's Department of Health has set up a coronavirus page with the latest information.
What's in this guide?
- Western Australian coronavirus help and contact information
- Western Australian state stimulus packages, financial support and relief
- Current advice on school and business closures and other restrictions
- Quarantine information for travellers
- Accommodation assistance for visitors and residents in self isolation
- When and where to get tested for COVID-19
- Where to get mental health support
- More coronavirus support and information
Western Australian state stimulus packages, financial support and relief
Here are the coronavirus economic-support measures announced by the Western Australian state government.
On March 31, 2020, the Western Australian government announced a $1 billion economic and health relief package to support businesses and households. This is on top of a $25 million rent relief plan and $159 million Relief Fund for eligible charities and not for profits announced between March 30 - 31.
On 16 March 2020, the Western Australian government announced a $607 million stimulus package to support workers and small businesses. (This is on top of the nationwide stimulus packages announced by the federal government.)
In announcing the package, Premier Mark McGowan acknowledged that "extraordinary measures" were needed to protect the economy during this state of emergency.
Measures in the packages include the following:
- $402 million will go towards freezing household bills and charges until 30 June 2021. This means that WA households will still need to pay these bills, but the cost will not rise with inflation at all for one year. Included in this scheme are electricity, gas and water bills, car registration and licensing and public transport fares.
- $91 million will be spent increasing the Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) from $305 to $610 for those in need (including pensioners).
- $114 million will be spent giving WA businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million a one-off, $17,500 grant.
- Waiving payroll tax for WA businesses that pay less than $7.5 million in taxable wages until 21 July 2020.
- 20 days paid sick leave for casual and full-time workers in the public health sector who are impacted by COVID-19 (this includes if you get the virus yourself or need to self-isolate).
- $502 million will go to small businesses to help reduce energy bills and other fees.
- Rental payments waived for 6 months for eligible small businesses and not for profit groups.
- Households and small businesses facing financial stress because of coronavirus will not have power or water switched off.
If you operate a small business in Western Australia and need help, you can call the small business COVID-19 hotline on 132 846. The WA Small Business Development Corporation is also providing advice to disrupted businesses. You can reach them on 133 140.
If you are struggling financially, you may also be eligible for federal government support. Check out the details of the federal coronavirus stimulus package.
Additional support for health and medical research
On 26 March 2020, the WA state government announced a $3 million funding program to support COVID-related research. The funding is available to all researchers based in WA and will be awarded based on merit. Applications close on Wednesday 8 April 2020.
Additional support for businesses and employees
On 30 March 2020 the government announced a national JobKeeper payment to support businesses and workers. Business owners can also apply for the government's new JobKeeper payment, which will provide the business with wage subsidies for up to six months in exchange for the business keeping staff employed. To see how if you're eligible and learn how it works, read the full guide on the new JobKeeper payment.
Current advice on school and business closures and other restrictions
Closure of non-essential businesses
The government has implemented a shutdown of non-essential businesses, including the following:
- Pubs, registered and licenced clubs, hotel bars (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues)
- Gyms and indoor sporting venues
- Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos and night clubs
- Large religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the "one person per four square metres" rule applies)
- Libraries and cultural institutions
- Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
On 25 March, the Western Australian government introduced alcohol restrictions to limit the hoarding of beer, spirits and wine. Customers will be limited to one carton of beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits, or three bottles of wine, or one litre of spirits, per day. The measures will be kept in place for a minimum of two weeks.
On 29 March 2020, the federal government upgraded restrictions to include the following:
- Indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to 2 people. Exceptions include people living in the same household, family units, weddings (maximum 5 people) and funerals (maximum 10 people)
- Playgrounds, skate parks and outside gyms are closed
- Fitness bootcamps are limited to 2 people (including the instructor)
- People are advised to stay indoors unless they are exercising, shopping for essentials, going to a medical appointment or going to work
The Western Australian government has acknowledged it could be "at least six months" before these measures are lifted.
Banks, pharmacies, supermarkets, public transport and essential utilities services remain open.
The Western Australian government has confirmed public schools will stay open until the Easter Holidays. However, parents are encouraged to keep their children at home if they are able to access online learning tools or other educational resources.
"We have made the difficult decision to change the way learning will continue in Western Australian public schools in response to COVID-19," Premier Mark McGowan said in a statement on 26 March 2020.
"Our schools will remain open to students, but it's important that everyone understands, it is not business as usual."
The statement also said that a longer-term educational model was being developed for Term 2 and beyond.
Some Western Australian private schools, including all 12 schools run by the Anglican Schools Commission, have also been strongly urging families to keep children at home as they move to online learning programs.
What does "a state of emergency" in Western Australia mean?
The Western Australian government has declared a state of emergency under the Emergency Management Act as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
A state of emergency gives the government greater power to limit mass gatherings, quarantine people who have recently arrived by airports, close non-essential businesses and limit visitors to aged care facilities.
A mass gathering is defined as either "a gathering of 500 or more persons in a single undivided outdoor space at the same time" or "a gathering of 100 or more persons in a single undivided indoor space at the same time". Certain locations such as airports, hospitals and public transport are excluded from this definition.
Update March 31: From April 1, Western Australians will not be allowed to travel beyond their regional boundaries. Anyone not currently within their boundary should return immediately. Exceptions apply for work reasons such as delivery or freight transportation.
Quarantine information for travellers
Western Australia has implemented strict border controls for all access points (road, rail, air and sea.) If you are planning to travel to Western Australia or are returning to your home state, these are the new rules you need to be aware of:
- Effective from midnight, 28 March, people who arrive from overseas will be quarantined for two weeks at hotels in their arrival cities.
- Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.
- Exemptions will apply to essential services and essential workers, including health and emergency services, defence and policing, mining industry workforce, flight crews and freight of essential goods, via ports and trucks – with strict guidelines in place to monitor and manage this.
- There will also be exemptions granted on compassionate grounds and where people live near border communities.
- Arrivals will have to show they meet the essential arrival criteria to be granted an exemption.
- Enforcement of the border restrictions will be rolled out with checkpoint stops.
- The WA Police Commissioner is authorised to stop any non-Australian citizens or residents who are planning to disembark from an international cruise ship at a WA port.
If you are required to quarantine, you must remain in your home for a full 14 days, leaving only in an emergency or to purchase medical supplies. Breaking the rules can result in penalties of up to $50,000 for individuals.
Checkpoints are now in place across 9 different regions in Western Australia – and you can't travel between these boundaries without a valid reason. Police and the Australian defence force are actively enforcing the new boundaries. This measure has effectively divided WA into nine separate territories.
There is also a ban on travel into Western Australia from other Australian states and territories. Anyone seeking an exemption must complete the Exemption Application form prior to travel and submit it by emailing the form to WAEntryRequest@police.wa.gov.au. You also need to have the exemption form and proof of its submission on your person when travelling.
You can find out more about Western Australia's State of Emergency measures at Police.WA.gov.
Accommodation assistance for visitors and residents in self isolation
All people arriving into Western Australia, by air, sea, rail or road are now required to self isolate for a period of 14 days from arrival to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As in other states and territories, people forced into quarantine will be housed, fed and transported at no cost to them. You will not be able to engage with other guests or receive visitors during the 14-day isolation period. Hotel staff will be able to bring you food and other supplies you may require.
You can find out more about Western Australia's self isolation policies for visitors at the WA Department of Health website.
If you live in Western Australia and are forced to self-isolate, there are a range of support mechanisms available to help you through the crisis. As mentioned above, casual workers and people who work in the public health sector now have access to 20 days of paid sick leave. Increases to household fees and charges have been frozen for 12 months.
There is also a six-month moratorium on evictions for residential tenants who can't pay their rent due to loss of income. You can read more about rental relief during coronavirus in our in-depth guide.
Western Australia has also launched a 'Hotels with Hearts' initiative which will see the homeless and people sleeping rough housed in empty hotel rooms. The pilot is being held at the Pan Pacific hotel in Perth. You can find out more about the initiative at the government's Media Statements website.
When and where to get tested for COVID-19
Western Australia has opened dedicated COVID clinics at the following locations:
8:00am to 8:00pm daily
- Royal Perth Hospital - Ground Floor, Ainslie House, 48 Murray Street, Perth
- Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital - C Block, Hospital Avenue, Nedlands
- Fiona Stanley Hospital – Bedbrook Row, north-eastern end of hospital, Murdoch
- Armadale Health Service – Ground Floor, 3056 Albany Highway Mount Nasura
- Joondalup Hospital - Car Park P4, Regents Park Road
- Rockingham General Hospital - Elanora Drive Cooloongup
- St John of God Midland Hospital - Yelverton Drive Midland
10:00am to 4:00pm daily
- Bunbury Health Campus – 30m left of the main entrance,
The clinics are open for people with fevers and respiratory symptoms such as coughing and sore throats. However, you should only make an appointment if you match one or more of the following criteria:
- have returned from overseas travel in the last 14 days
- are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case
- believe you may have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19
Patients who are tested should remain isolated at home until they receive their test results and further medical advice. To learn more about COVID-19 testing, contact the WA Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
Where to get mental health support
If you're feeling overwhelmed by coronavirus, professional help is available. The following free services can help you to manage anxiety or depression as well as provide you with a safe place to talk.
- Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- WA Mental Health Emergency Response Line: 1300 555 788 (Metro) | 1800 676 822 (Peel) | 1800 552 002 (Country/Rurallink)
- beyondblue: 1300 224 636
More coronavirus support and information
If you're struggling financially because of the coronavirus, check out some of our guides below:
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