- Border controls strengthened to protect WA from highly infectious COVID Delta strain
- Delta now the dominant strain in Australia, causing several outbreaks and deaths
- Strengthened border controls for jurisdictions with significant and sustained outbreaks
- Introduction of a 'high risk' category and 'extreme risk' category
- Approved traveller guidelines for 'high risk' jurisdictions adjusted for compassionate reasons due to the worsening situation in NSW
The McGowan Government has moved to strengthen its safe and sensible control border arrangements to further protect Western Australians from significant and sustained outbreaks of the highly contagious and deadly COVID-19 Delta strain.
Since November 14, 2020 when the controlled interstate border was introduced, only the 'very low risk, 'low risk' and 'medium risk' categories have applied but with growing concerns about transmission of the Delta variant in Australia, the Chief Health Officer has recommended a new, strengthened risk matrix.
Based on the latest health advice, the 'high risk' category has been upgraded and a new 'extreme risk' category has been added to WA's controlled border arrangements.
In addition to 14 days of self-quarantine and COVID-19 tests on days two and 12 for approved travellers only, additional conditions will be applied under the 'high risk' category:
- proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test in the 72 hours prior to departure;
- proof of receipt of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, where eligible;
- a mandatory requirement to use the G2G Now app on arrival in WA.
Additional conditions under the new 'extreme risk' category will include:
- mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at a State quarantine facility;
- exemptions restricted to Commonwealth, State and specialist functions only; and
- COVID-19 tests on days one, five and 12.
As a guide, the trigger point for the 'high risk' category will be an average of more than 50 new community cases per day and the trigger point for the 'extreme risk' category will be an average of more than 500 new community cases per day.
The WA Chief Health Officer will continue to monitor and review border controls to keep Western Australians protected.
The State Government will also make an adjustment to exemption rules due to the worsening situation in New South Wales. Compassionate guidelines will be adjusted to ensure that people who recently left WA, and have roots in WA and a legitimate right to return, will also be offered a pathway to return to WA subject to the relevant quarantine conditions and required evidence.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The COVID-19 Delta variant is wreaking havoc in New South Wales and I extend WA's sympathies to everyone as they battle to bring various outbreaks under control.
"The health advice is clear in that the Delta strain is significantly more contagious than previous strains of COVID-19 and there is emerging evidence that it leads to more severe outcomes.
"We only have to look to NSW to see the devastation that this strain can cause in people and to the economy.
"My Government's priority is to protect Western Australians' health and ensure we have one of the freest and open economies in the world.
"Our safe and sensible controlled border arrangements have protected us to date, and these updated border controls will continue to help protect us, while allowing for the safe entry of approved travellers."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"Just because we have no community cases in WA at the moment does not mean we are safe.
"We need to take safe and sensible precautions to keep protecting our community.
"I encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they are eligible.
"We need to significantly lift our vaccination rate in the coming weeks and months ahead."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500