Western Australia has delayed its plan to re-open its borders on February 5, Premier Mark McGowan announced in a press conference on Thursday night, in response to the Omicron variant sweeping through the rest of the country. A revised date will be considered over the next month.
“Omicron is a whole new threat that we can’t ignore,” McGowan said. “And right now we don’t know the full picture of what Omicron could mean – but we do know how easily transmissible and infectious it is.
“We know the “let it rip” strategy, with low third dose vaccine levels, doesn't work,” McGowan continued. “We have an opportunity to do better - and that is exactly what we will strive to do.”
Under the revised plans, from 12.01am on Saturday February 5, the hard border will remain in place – with expanded travel exemptions.
Under the new criteria, travellers will only be permitted to enter WA:
• If they are returning Western Australians;
• Under compassionate grounds including funeral, palliative care or terminally ill visitation;
• If they are a member of the family of an approved traveller;
• For urgent and essential medical treatment;
• For reasons of national and state security;
• If they are a Commonwealth or State official, Members of Parliament, Diplomats;
• If they have specialist skills not available in WA, health services, emergency service workers;
• If they are required to attend court matters, judicial officers and staff of court, tribunals and commissions; and
• Under special considerations and extraordinary circumstances determined by the State Emergency Coordinator or Chief Health Officer.
People entering from interstate will need to:
• Have an approved G2G Pass, under new exemption criteria;
• Be triple dose vaccinated if eligible (or double dose vaccinated if not eligible for third);
• Provide proof of a negative Rapid Antigen Test within 24 hours before departure;
• Undertake 14 days of self-quarantine at a suitable premises, with the same requirements for household members at the self-quarantine premises;
• Take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and on day 12 of self-quarantine, and household members will also be required to do a PCR test on the traveller’s day 12.
People entering from overseas will need to:
• Meet the Commonwealth requirements to enter Australia under the arrivals cap;
• Undertake 14 days of mandatory quarantine including, seven days in hotel quarantine and seven days of self-quarantine at suitable premise, if eligible,
• Take a PCR test on days one, six, nine and 12, and household members will also be required to do a PCR test on the traveller’s day 12