WA reinstates hard border with Queensland
WA will reinstate the hard border with Queensland from midnight tonight, after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel in Brisbane tested positive for the mutant UK strain of the virus.
People will no longer be able to enter WA unless they are an exempt traveller.
More than 7500 travellers who arrived in WA from January 2 will be required to go into 14-days of self-isolation and be tested for COVID-19.
Premier Mark McGowan made the announcement this morning after Greater Brisbane were forced into a three day lockdown.
“These are extraordinary circumstance, we are not just dealing with the COVID-19 of 2020, this is a whole new beast,” he said.
“We must take action to prevent this deadly virus from spreading into our community.”
The Premier said the Queensland case is not only a threat to the sunshine state but the entire nation.
“Evidence shows this variant is 70 per cent more infectious than other strains.”
Nine flights from Queensland are expected to arrive at Perth Airport today carrying about 1400 passengers.
They will be required to self-quarantine for 14-days and undergo testing on arrival, and day 11 of their quarantine period.
“My advice to those who are not West Australians returning home, will be to return to Queensland unless you have personal circumstance that require you to stay in WA.”
Due to extremely warm weather conditions in Perth anyone who arrived in WA since January 2 will have until Tuesday to be tested.
“Obviously today is 41 degrees, so from a health perspective we are not telling people to rush to a COVID clinic today,” the Premier said.
Health authorities will increase resources at clinics to keep up with demand, but people are being warned to expect delays.
“Bring water and sun protection in case the wait is long.”
The Premier has also urged Western Australian’s to avoid travel outside of WA unless absolutely necessary.
Western Australians who recently travelled to Queensland may be able to return to WA on compassionate grounds, at the discretion of WA police.
People who have been in contact with arrivals from Queensland will not be required to isolate, and only need to be tested if they develop symptoms.
The cap on international arrivals has been halved until at least mid February, and masks will be mandatory at Perth Airport.
Hotel quarantine workers will also be required to undergo daily testing.