- Safe, sensible and responsible full border opening plan for WA
- Hard border to come down following the latest expert public health advice
- Third dose rate continues to power ahead, giving the WA community more protection
- Short delay has allowed tens of thousands of WA children to get vaccinated
- Omicron surge across the rest of the country is declining in line with WA opening
Following a review of Western Australia's border controls based on the latest health advice, the updated Safe Transition Plan will take effect from 12.01am March 3, 2022.
The full border opening plan was previously delayed on January 20 due to rising Omicron cases, hospitalisations and lives lost around Australia, and the uncertainty surrounding the full impact of the new highly transmissible variant.
WA's short delay of the full border opening has allowed WA's third dose vaccination rate to climb to record levels and given children the opportunity to be vaccinated, while the Omicron wave peaked and declined in the Eastern States.
Based on the current vaccination pace, WA would achieve a 70 per cent third dose vaccination rate (16+), including 90 per cent for people aged 70 and over, by March 3, providing Western Australians with the best protection possible against the Omicron variant.
The full border opening will allow for safe travel into WA from interstate and overseas with vaccination and testing requirements on arrival, pending latest health advice.
Interstate travel into WA will be permitted with the following requirements:
- have a registered G2G Pass;
- be triple dose vaccinated, if eligible; and
- undertake a rapid antigen test on arrival (within 12 hours and report any positive result).
International travellers into WA will be permitted with the following requirements:
- meet Commonwealth Government requirements to enter Australia;
- be fully vaccinated under the Commonwealth requirements, if eligible;
- have a registered G2G Pass;
- undertake a rapid antigen test on arrival (within 12 hours and report any positive result); and
- unvaccinated returning Australians will be required to complete hotel quarantine.
The State Government is currently providing all interstate and international arrivals with two Rapid Antigen Tests so they can self-administer at home and from March 3, one test will be provided to each arrival to meet the new interim controls.
These interim testing arrangements will be in place for a minimum of two weeks and then be subject to an ongoing review.
Vaccination remains the best way people can protect themselves, their family and their community. Anyone who is eligible for their third dose should get vaccinated - visit rollup.wa.gov.au to book an appointment.
For more information about WA's Updated Safe Transition Plan, visit www.wa.gov.au.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Throughout the pandemic we have been striving to keep WA safe, keep people in jobs and minimise the disruption that COVID brings to the wider community.
"While this came with enormous pressure and at times has been understandably difficult for many people and their families, this has resulted in WA being one of the only places in the world to achieve a high third dose rate before widespread community transmission.
"We held back Omicron as much as we could, and this time bought us the best chance to vaccinate our children and bring the third dose rate up as high as we can.
"The third dose rate has jumped from 25 per cent when we announced the border delay and is now on track to reach 70 per cent when the full border opening is implemented.
"Saving lives, reducing hospitalisations and limiting the number of people becoming very ill has been worth the short wait, to protect as many Western Australians as possible.
"As we embark on the next phase, third doses will be vital in affording people with the protection they need against this highly transmissible Omicron variant.
"While this next step will be difficult for many, WA is well placed and prepared, with our high levels of vaccination, investment in our health and hospital systems and our close contact protocols for the community, workers and businesses.
"I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding over the course of the past two years - and for what is next for our State over the coming months as we deal with the impacts of community transmission.
"We all need to be COVID ready and keep being COVID safe, to protect yourself and your loved ones, because more than ever, we're all in this together."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"Our impressive vaccination rates are testament to the incredible work of our Vaccine Commander, past and present, our hardworking health staff and the Western Australian people.
"I'd like to thank you all for rolling up to protect not only yourselves, but the vulnerable in our community.
"We know a third dose provides much better protection from the Omicron variant and I'm so pleased that we have been able to give more people the opportunity to get a third dose before our hard border transition - and get more children vaccinated.
"We are entering a new phase of the pandemic, but I am confident that as a community we are well protected and well prepared.
"The next few months are likely to be challenging but we will get through this, as we have done for the past two years, together."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 6900