Western Australia will scrap its hard border and replace it with a “controlled interstate border” from November 14, but travellers from Victoria and NSW will still need to quarantine.
Under the changes, quarantine-free travel will be allowed from the very low risk jurisdictions of Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
Airport arrivals must get a health screening and temperature test, and be prepared to take a COVID-19 test if necessary.
Voluntary asymptotic testing will be available and people must have a G2G travel pass declaring they have no symptoms of coronavirus and have not been to NSW or Victoria in the preceding two weeks.
A text message will be sent to travellers one week later as a reminder to get tested if they develop symptoms.
Those arriving by land will be met at a checkpoint for a health screening and must have their G2G pass verified.
They will also be referred for testing if required.
WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced changes to the state’s border arrangements. Picture: Colin Murty/The AustralianSource:News Corp Australia
Premier Mark McGowan made the announcement on Friday following a State Disaster Council meeting, which considered the latest advice from Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson.
Mr McGowan said it had been almost seven months since WA had any community transmission of the virus.
“We turned WA into an island within an island and it worked,” Mr McGowan told reporters.
“We are now at the next step of our journey to safely transition from our hard border to a new controlled interstate border.
“The time is right, the conditions are right.”
Mr McGowan warned the controlled border could still be delayed if things changed in other states.
“We are prepared to delay the introduction of the controlled border right up to the last minute,” he said.
“I will have no hesitation to reintroduce the hard border if that’s what is needed to protect the health of West Australians.”
Anyone who fails to follow directions could face fines ranging from $1000 to $50,000.
The WA Premier has issued a stern warning to Prime Minister Scott Morrison about international travel bubbles. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia
Mr McGowan also urged the federal government to take an extra cautious approach to the international border.
“If the commonwealth government moves to establish further travel bubbles with other nations we reserve our rights to do what is in the best interests of WA including reinstating our hard border,” he said.
“I personally think the biggest threat to the country now is importation of the virus from overseas.”
WA Premier Mark McGowan says the changes follow the health advice. Picture: Colin Murty/The AustralianSource:News Corp Australia
WA Health Minister Roger Cook said there was no doubt people had become more relaxed in WA as the threat of coronavirus decreased, but now was the time to reinforce rules about hygiene and getting tested if you have symptoms.
“We all need to take personal responsibility,” he said.
“Do not hesitate to get a COVID test.”
WA recorded one new case overnight – a woman aged in her 20s who returned from overseas and is in hotel quarantine.
It takes the state’s total number of infections to 767, including 46 active cases.
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