Western Australia Will Reopen Its Borders in Early 2022 When It Reaches 90-Percent Double Jabs
WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced that the state will start easing border controls both domestically and internationally.
Victoria has fully reopened to the entire country, and Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia have all announced when they'll relax their border rules, too. Now, it's Western Australia's turn. Today, Friday, November 5, WA Premier Mark McGowan revealed that the state will start welcoming back travellers sometime early in 2022, once it hits the 90-percent double-vaccinated mark.
That means that there's no exact reopening date right now, but McGowan said he expects it to occur sometime in late January or early February. Once WA hits the 80-percent double-dose threshold, the Premier will announce exactly when folks from other states will be able to head west again at that 90-percent mark.
And, people travelling from overseas destinations, too — because the reopening will apply to both WA's domestic and international borders. There'll be different rules in place depending on where you're entering from, and other health measures such as wearing face masks in high-risk settings and requiring proof of vaccination at large events and nightclubs will also be put into effect statewide.
Today we can announce Western Australia's Safe Transition Plan to ease our controlled border.
It sets out an approach which will allow us to safely ease our border controls with other States and resume international travel - while limiting the impact of COVID when it reaches WA. pic.twitter.com/z8mSPlppsf
— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) November 5, 2021
Now planning a trip to WA from elsewhere in Australia? You'll need to be double-vaccinated to enter, and also to get a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of departing. At first, there'll be tests upon arrival as well, but they will eventually be phased out.
For those making the journey from an international location, there'll be no quarantine for double-vaxxed arrivals — and the same testing requirements will be in place for both domestic and overseas travellers. If you haven't had two jabs, you'll still need to go into hotel quarantine for 14 days.
"The decision to target a 90-percent vaccination rate is based on extensive modelling which shows us the rates of community infections, hospitalisations and deaths are far lower if we make this change at 90-percent, when compared with an 80-percent target," said the Premier.
And, while that 90-percent threshold will apply statewide, "if there are regional areas with low vaccination rates, then pending the health advice at the time, restrictions on travel within WA to protect these specific regions may need to be introduced," McGowan continued.
The just-announced plan will see WA reopen while having no COVID-19 in the state's community, too.
"This plan sets out how WA will transition in a safe manner and provides a soft landing, with minimal impact on WA's unique way of life," said the Premier. "Transitioning with zero COVID in the community has never been done before and that's why our transition is unique and will require us to all work together."
Western Australia has had a hard border and strict quarantine requirements in place for much of the pandemic, meaning that people who don't normally reside in WA have only been able to visit the state if they're classified as an exempt traveller, apply for a G2G Pass and, if approved, then self-isolate for 14 days.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Western Australia, and the state's corresponding restrictions, visit its online COVID-19 hub.
Published on November 05, 2021 by Sarah Ward