WA sets hard border for VIC, but doors to open for NSW travellers

WA sets hard border for VIC, but doors to open for NSW travellers

As Victoria enters a five-day lockdown to contain COVID-19 with much of the country soon closing borders to travellers from Greater Melbourne, Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has announced a drop of good news.

As Victoria enters a five-day lockdown to contain COVID-19 with much of the country soon closing borders to travellers from Greater Melbourne, Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan (pictured) has announced a drop of good news.

Whilst WA will be implementing a hard border with Victoria in response to recent developments, McGowan has announced safe travel will be permitted from NSW to the state from 12:01am on Tuesday, 16 February.

McGowan highlighted NSW had not recorded a community case of COVID-19 since 15 January.

"As a result, we can safely move NSW from low risk to very low risk. A decision was taken for this to occur from 12:01 on Tuesday, February 16; that is Tuesday morning, pending no further outbreaks," he said.

He said safe travel was permitted from NSW but on certain conditions, including the completion of a G2G pass declaration stipulating the person does not have COVID-19 symptoms and which jurisdictions the traveller has been in over the previous 14 days.

For airport arrivals, people coming from NSW will need to undergo a health screening and temperature test.

McGowan expressed his support of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews putting a circuit-breaker lockdown in place.

"As we know in WA it is just so important to reduce the risk and prevent community transmission," he said.

"Currently under our border controls, arrivals from Victoria are required to return a negative COVID test result and complete 14 days of self-isolation.

"This border control puts us in a very strong position to be able to handle any outbreak...however, given the concerning ongoing situation in Victoria, the Chief Health Officer has recommended Victoria be reclassified as medium risk for a short period until the situation is resolved.

This means that travellers arriving in Perth Airport from Victoria today will be tested before going into a fortnight of self-isolation, before a 72-hour hard border is put in place at 6pm with only some exemptions permitted such as senior government officials, active military personnel and certain workers in transport and logistics.

In terms of local rules in Western Australia, where 10 months have passed without community transmission, current transitional restrictions that followed Perth's snap lockdown earlier this month will be lifted from midnight on Saturday night.

"We will revert back to where we were on the 30 January. Only a few restrictions will apply - the standing capacity rules, restrictions on remote Aboriginal communities, mandatory contact registration, and of course our controlled interstate border," he said.

"The wearing of masks will no longer be compulsory as of Sunday morning.

"Please keep up your COVID safe practices, wash your hands, keep a distance where possible, get tested when unwell, and keep using SafeWA."

Updated at 11:23 AWST on 12 February 2021.

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