The WA government will temporarily close the state’s borders from 11.59pm on Sunday, Premier Mark McGowan announced in a press conference this afternoon.
“Western Australia is in a unique position, our isolation is our best defence, and we need to use it to the best of our advantage,” he said.
“While our overall numbers are encouraging, we need to take further steps to protect our state ... In effect we’ll be turning Western Australia into an island within an island, our own country.”
The new measures step up existing restrictions, which require anyone coming into the state to self-isolate for 14 days.
The government is creating a list of exemptions, which will likely include freight, health services, security and those that need to travel for work.
The move is the latest in a string of tough anti-coronavirus measures announced by the government today. Among the new emergency management powers: authorities will be able to use electronic monitoring to track people in isolation (with imprisonment and $12,000 fines for those who don’t comply) and will have the power to compel people to provide information on recent travel and people they have been in contact with. Authorities will also be able to issue $1000 on-the-spot fines for individuals and $5000 fines for businesses that do not follow government directions.
These powers under the current State of Emergency will cease 12 months after their commencement.
More to come.