- Strict controls to protect WA in response to COVID-19 outbreak in South Australia
- Effective today, 6pm WST November 16, strict exemption requirements apply to anyone arriving at Perth Airport from South Australia
- Effective 6pm WST Wednesday, November 18, the same strict exemption requirements apply to people arriving by road from South Australia
- New controls on top of immediate measures applied yesterday following SA outbreak
- Mandatory rolling testing of high risk State Health Incident Coordination Centre hotel quarantine workers
- Travellers from SA should reconsider travel arrangements in light of evolving situation
Travel from South Australia into WA will not be allowed unless travellers meet strict exemption criteria, to protect Western Australians and reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering our State.
The new arrangements have been put in place based on the latest health advice, following the concerning and evolving COVID-19 outbreak in South Australia.
The measures are in addition to the quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements implemented on November 15. Anyone who arrived in Western Australia from South Australia on Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15 has been contacted by WA Police and instructed to self-quarantine and undertake COVID-19 testing.
Given the size of the latest outbreak in South Australia, the Chief Health Officer has determined that South Australia has moved from the 'very low risk' category to the 'medium risk' category.
This is the highest rating of any other State or Territory and South Australia may move to the 'high risk' category very soon, pending further information on their COVID-19 outbreak.
From 6pm tonight, further restrictions will apply to anyone travelling from South Australia or anyone who has been in South Australia in the previous 14 days.
Anyone travelling to Western Australia from South Australia will need to meet strict exemption criteria, in addition to the self-quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements which commenced on November 15.
For anyone arriving by road, through the Eucla checkpoint, this system will begin 48 hours later - from 6pm Wednesday, November 18.
The exemption list for South Australia will be limited to:
- certain senior Government Officials;
- certain active military personnel;
- a member of the Commonwealth Parliament;
- a person carrying out functions under a law of the Commonwealth;
- certain specialists responsible for time critical maintenance where the skills are not available in WA (excludes FIFO);
- a person coming to WA at the request of the Chief Health Officer;
- a person responsible for transport freight or logistics;
- anyone who has been given approval by the State Emergency Coordinator or an authorised officer (this category includes compassionate reasons and specified arrangements).
That final category could include Western Australians that may have travelled to South Australia in the last few days and be considered on compassionate grounds to return.
The latest border controls will be constantly reviewed and can be tightened, extended or relaxed depending on the latest health advice from South Australia.
If an exemption is granted, they will need to undertake 14 days of self-quarantine at a suitable premise and will also be required to take a COVID-19 test upon their arrival.
If a suitable premise is not available, they will enter hotel quarantine at their own expense.
They will also be required to undertake a second COVID-19 test on day 11 of their quarantine period or at any point when symptoms develop.
Interstate transport and freight workers entering WA are still required to show evidence of having received a negative COVID-19 test result in the past five days.
If they have not been tested in the past seven days, they will be directed at the WA border to undertake a COVID-19 test within 48 hours.
They will also need to present for another COVID-19 test within seven days of their first test if they are staying in WA.
Travel arrangements as part of WA's controlled interstate border remain the same for other jurisdictions. For more information, visit http://www.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The situation unfolding in South Australia is very concerning, and I won't take any chances when it comes to protecting Western Australians.
"Given the outbreak in South Australia, the CHO has consulted with SA Health and recommended strict new controls to ensure Western Australia is better protected.
"I will not take any unnecessary risks. At this point in time, all travel to Western Australia from South Australia should be reconsidered.
"The new restrictions on travel from South Australia are based on the latest health advice to keep WA safe. If the health advice recommends it, the full hard border to all State and Territories will return quickly.
"When we announced the new controlled interstate border arrangements, we made it clear that any new community cases in other States and Territories would be assessed by the Chief Health Officer to determine if any possible changes to our border controls were necessary.
"I feel for everyone whose plans are disrupted because of this change but these are extraordinary circumstances. My number one priority is to keep Western Australia safe.
"COVID-19 is a deadly virus, and as we've seen in SA it could easily creep in when we least expect it. In a pandemic, nothing is for certain and we must be prepared to react quickly to a rapidly changing environment."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"At times like these, when SA is facing these challenges with COVID-19, we've done what WA has always done best and lent a helping hand - by providing contact tracing support straight away.
"Our WA team of contact tracers will be actively supporting SA Health for the foreseeable future until they can get a handle on the situation.
"On our home turf though, the McGowan Government is doing everything necessary to ensure we keep the virus away and that WA remains safe.
"We have introduced a mandatory rolling testing program for high risk hotel quarantine workers to better protect them, their family and friends and the community.
"This is in addition to the COVID Detect borders program which allows for voluntary asymptomatic testing of workers at WA borders.
"Of the 17 cases in South Australia, 15 relate to one extended family and include people who work across a range of high risk settings such as hospitals and the like.
"The situation in SA highlights the importance of COVID-19 testing. If you have symptoms, you must go and get tested - everyone should be treating it with upmost caution."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500