News Coronavirus New WA laws to continue COVID-19 rules

New WA laws to continue COVID-19 rules

Western Australia border
WA's new laws cover a range of directions including the use of face masks by close contacts. Photo: AAP
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The West Australian government has introduced legislation to state parliament to ensure specific COVID-19 restrictions and rules can remain in place.

The new laws cover a range of directions including the seven-day isolation requirement for positive cases and the use of face masks by close contacts.

The legislation also allows the government to continue to restrict the movement in and out of Aboriginal communities, includes measures for the management of cruise ships, and the use of face masks in hospitals, aged care, disability facilities, and passenger transport settings.

The bill further provides better protection for WA police officers with increased penalties for serious assaults and threats against frontline officers as well as healthcare workers.

Premier Mark McGowan said new COVID-19 cases would continue to emerge and the government needed ongoing powers to keep West Australians safe.

“Having this legislation gives the state a framework to manage important measures including the requirement for mask mandates in vulnerable settings such as hospitals and aged care,” he said on Tuesday.

“It also ensures we can keep a ban on larger cruise ships and restrict access to remote Aboriginal Communities for the time being.

“This emergency management framework has been vital to Western Australia’s successful management of the pandemic.”

The WA legislation came as the latest figures showed almost 20 million Australian adults were now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The federal government’s Operation COVID Shield reports that 19.7 million people are fully jabbed – or 95 per cent of people aged 16 or older.

Almost 13.5 million people have had a booster shot, or 69.4 per cent of the eligible population, while 706,824 adults have had a fourth shot.

On Tuesday, the states and territories reported a combined total of 47,634 new COVID-19 infections and 49 deaths, with the Northern Territory being the only jurisdiction not to report a fatality.