News Coronavirus WA border opening to go ahead for NSW, Victoria

WA border opening to go ahead for NSW, Victoria

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WA will be open to millions more Australians from Tuesday. Photo: ABC NewsAndrew O'Connor
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WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced people from NSW and Victoria will be able to enter the state without needing to quarantine from Tuesday, as planned.

The WA government delayed a final decision on reopening its border to millions of Victorians and NSW residents after it was revealed last week that a hotel worker had tested positive to the coronavirus in Sydney.

On Monday, Mr McGowan said WA’s chief health officer had advised him the original plans could proceed.

“It is very pleasing to know that no further cases [in NSW] have been identified over the last five days,” he said.

“Therefore, with no additional cases in NSW over the last 30 days, the chief health officer has recommended that the risk of importation of COVID-19 from NSW is now very low.

“As a result it is safe to continue our plans as announced, to transition NSW to the next classification.

“This will occur for both Victoria and NSWs, effective from midnight tonight (Monday).”

The move means Victorians and people from NSW will be able to travel to WA without quarantining for the first time in almost nine months. They will have to undergo health checks at Perth airport or road checkpoints, and fill out border declarations.

Mr McGowan said the continued police presence at checkpoints would allow WA to quickly pivot back to a hard border if there was an outbreak in another state.

“If we need to increase the border arrangements to become a hard border again, we can do it basically instantaneously,” he said.

“That’s the beauty of our system – our system is far more careful, far more precautionary, it’s unique to Western Australia. Other states don’t have it.

“If we need to, we can toughen up our rules in a heartbeat.”

Mr McGowan ruled out moving to the more targeted hotspot system used in other states, saying WA’s system was simpler and more effective.

WA remains closed only to people from South Australia. It will reopen to people from SA or those who have travelled through the state from Friday, although they will have to complete 14 days quarantine on arriving in WA.

-with agencies