- Safe transition date locked in for first Saturday in February
- Based on the 90 per cent double dose vaccination target (12 years and above)
- New testing requirements depending on length of travel for vaccinated travellers
- Clarity and certainty for the community, families, and the economy
- Western Australians urged to get vaccinated, including a third dose when eligible
Western Australia will embark on its Safe Transition Plan as announced last month, to safely ease its hard border controls in line with a 90 per cent vaccination rate, from 12.01am on Saturday February 5, 2022.
Having achieved the 80 per cent vaccination rate, the locked-in transition date is based on the latest projections for when WA is at its target rate of 90 per cent double dose vaccination for eligible Western Australians aged 12 years and above.
WA's current zero-COVID environment and high vaccination rate will help deliver the softest landing, to minimise the impact of the virus when it enters our State and to keep Western Australians safe for the long term.
To safely enable quarantine-free travel into the State, new testing requirements for arrivals will be introduced to assist with the safe transition of COVID-19 in the WA community.
Double dose vaccinated international arrivals will be required to:
- return a negative PCR test result within 72 hours prior to departure; and
- return a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival to WA and on day six.
While double dose vaccinated international arrivals will not be required to quarantine and are not subject to the arrivals cap, unvaccinated international arrivals will be required to quarantine for 14 days either in a designated hotel or the future quarantine facility.
All international travel into WA remains subject to the Commonwealth's biosecurity and border settings - as that being the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government.
All domestic arrivals aged 12 and over must be double dose vaccinated unless ineligible or medically exempt.
Testing requirements for domestic arrivals fall under three categories:
- interstate arrivals coming into WA or WA travellers leaving and returning on a trip that is six days or more will require a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure prior to travelling to WA, and undertake a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival;
- interstate arrivals coming into WA for five days or less will require a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure but are not required to have any tests on arrival into WA; and
- WA travellers who leave then return to WA within five days or less do not need a test before arriving back into the State, but they will require a PCR test within 48 hours of returning.
These are interim testing arrangements and are based on the current health advice. They will be subject to ongoing review including one after four weeks from the transition date.
WA's unique position of zero-COVID and a 90 per cent vaccination rate means border controls can ease with minimal community restrictions compared to other jurisdictions.
Based on health advice, interim baseline public health and social measures will be applied at the point of transition, from 12.01am February 5, 2022.
Masks are required to be worn in some high risk indoor settings including:
- on public transport, taxis or ride share services;
- at airports and on flights; and
- by visitors to hospitals, residential aged care, disability care or custodial corrections facilities.
Proof of vaccination for people 16 years and older will be required at:
- venues or events with 1,000 or more patrons;
- the Crown complex; and
- the four major stadia (Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium and HBF Park)
Other businesses may also choose to have proof of vaccination requirements as a condition of entry to protect their staff and patrons. Businesses should consider their individual circumstances and seek their own legal advice before adopting a proof of vaccination requirement.
Contact registration including the use of SafeWA will be required at all public venues, taxis and rideshare services.
To keep patrons and staff safe, revised COVID Safety Plans, Event Plans and Checklists must be followed.
Public health and social measures may be scaled up or down based on updated health advice or rates of hospitalisation.
Additional restrictions may be required in some at-risk regional communities where current projections suggest higher levels of vaccination may take longer to achieve - this currently includes the Pilbara (currently 46.1 per cent double dose rate), Kimberley (currently 60.8 per cent double dose rate), and Goldfields (currently 65 per cent double dose rate). These regions are the only regions that currently have a first dose rate below 80 per cent.
If these regions do not reach at least an 80 per cent double dose vaccination by Saturday February 5, they will be subject to the following temporary enhanced public health and social measures:
- proof of vaccination will be required at pubs, bars, dine-in cafés and restaurants, bottle shops, indoor entertainment venues, gyms and fitness centres;
- masks will be required at all indoor public venues without a proof of vaccination entry requirement (such as supermarkets, roadhouses and takeaway services); and
- only double dose vaccinated travellers will be permitted into the region by air.
These temporary additional health and social measures for impacted regions are to protect the very vulnerable communities until a higher level of vaccination is reached to minimise the risk.
These restrictions will be removed or stepped down once the required double dose vaccination rate is achieved in the region, subject to the specific health advice at the time.
The State Government is developing a new integrated mobile app which will make proof of vaccination, use of SafeWA and G2G registrations easier.
The app will be available early next year and provides safe, secure and convenient access to these State Government services and will provide a one-stop platform for additional services in the future.
Use of a printed copy of the COVID-19 digital certificate or immunisation history statement is also accepted as proof, however people will need to present approved identification with it.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Today is a momentous day. Western Australia will safely ease its hard border controls on Saturday, February 5 and re-connect with the rest of the country and the world.
"That transition date is locked in - and is based on our expert public health advice.
"This will be welcome news to many Western Australians who have waited so patiently, abiding by the border controls and doing their bit to keep our State safe.
"Since the start of the pandemic, Western Australians have come together to protect themselves and each other.
"Being cautious, patient and listening to the health advice has enabled Western Australia to reach a high level of vaccination, which will provide a soft landing when the virus arrives here.
"While information about Omicron is still preliminary, it is clear that vaccination - including the third dose - is absolutely crucial in combatting it.
"That is why it's so vital that people get their third dose when they become eligible"
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"We need to make every day count between now and February 5. Don't waste this opportunity to help protect yourself and your community.
"COVID-19 in WA will soon be a reality so we need to be prepared - we need to make sure all Western Australians get their third dose when they become eligible.
"There are hundreds and hundreds of clinics, GPs and pharmacies where you can get vaccinated.
"We also want as many Western Australian children vaccinated before school starts next year.
"There is going to be an important window in January for 5 to 11 year olds to get at least one dose of the vaccine before COVID-19 enters WA.
"WA's health system is prepared as we expand the health workforce and bring online more than 530 hospital beds by October next year.
"The McGowan Government has invested heavily in the health system and the health workforce and we are ready for next year as we safely ease our hard border controls."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500