- Removal of unvaccinated international arrivals cap and seven days quarantine for returning unvaccinated Australians and permanent residents from today (June 1)
- Latest health advice recommends changes to mandatory vaccination
- Remote Aboriginal Communities directions lifted from June 15, following consultation and in line with health advice
- First and second dose rates above 99 per cent providing significant protection
- Western Australia's third dose rate now at almost 82 per cent and leading the nation
- WA's management of COVID-19 and soft landing has resulted in significantly reduced number of serious illnesses, hospitalisations, ICU admissions and deaths in WA
- Western Australians urged to keep up healthy hygiene, stay up to date with flu and COVID vaccinations, in light of winter flu season
Following Western Australia's soft landing from the Omicron wave and based on the latest health advice, more baseline public health and social measures will be phased out.
Returning unvaccinated Australians and permanent residents will no longer be quarantined for seven days on return to WA.
The change from June 1, 2022 means the current weekly cap of 70 unvaccinated international arrivals (Australians or permanent residents) will no longer apply, with the removal of the quarantine requirement.
Unvaccinated non-Australians are not permitted to enter Australia under Commonwealth orders.
Effective from June 10, 2022, WA's mandatory vaccination policy will be updated in line with health advice and will only apply to workforces working with the most vulnerable to protect them from severe disease.
This means workers in the following sectors must be triple dose vaccinated to be able to enter their work premise:
- Healthcare and health support workers in hospitals and primary health care settings;
- Workers in residential aged care; and
- Workers in residential disability settings.
The vaccine requirements in place on other workforces will be removed from this date.
The changes to the policy are in line with national advice from AHPPC which supports mandatory vaccination for workers in these sectors, with mandates for these groups continuing to be implemented in most other Australian jurisdictions.
The overarching mandatory vaccination policy, which took effect from December 1, 2021 in a phased approach, was put in place to protect WA and safeguard essential services and businesses, before WA's borders were removed.
The policy has been extremely effective in protecting Western Australians and helping achieve world-leading vaccination rates.
The implementation date of June 10 provides the public and private sectors time to work through the changes in their workforces.
In the public sector, around 500 employees, separate to former employees who had resigned or been terminated, will be contacted by their employer outlining the next steps for their individual situation ahead of the change in policy.
Some parts of certain public sector agencies may introduce temporary specific workplace health and safety arrangements in due course, as part of their employer requirements, given the nature of their work.
From June 15, Directions to restrict access to Remote Aboriginal Communities will be removed given the wider spread of COVID-19 across the State, and the lifting of the ban will allow communities to continue their operations in areas such as tourism, community stores, arts and cultural centres.
The two-week transition period will allow communities to plan and adjust to these changes, and the approach follows consultation with a number of key stakeholders.
The State Government will continue to work with and support the communities to facilitate them through the transition in a way that is best suited to their unique circumstances, as some communities may choose to still apply their own restrictions.
Mask wearing, proof of vaccination and visitor limits in certain settings will remain and continue to be monitored by the Chief Health Officer.
COVID-19 positive people are still required to follow strict protocols including isolating, testing and mask wearing to limit the spread, and close contacts must continue to follow close contact guidelines including daily testing and mask wearing.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"WA's world-leading COVID-19 vaccination rates are something we can all be proud of.
"They were crucial in delivering our soft landing and have meant we significantly reduced the number of serious illnesses and hospitalisations, kept people out of ICU and limited the number of COVID-19 deaths.
"These changes follow the easing of public health and social measures to baseline measures in late April and have been reviewed as necessary in line with the latest health advice.
"We're still in the midst of this Omicron wave and coupled with this upcoming flu season it's vital people take every precaution, follow the health advice, keep up mask wearing as necessary, ensure they are up to date with the COVID-19 and flu vaccines and maintain handwashing and sanitising.
"With the removal of borders our health experts are expecting increased flu cases, which is why we need to be vigilant, especially as we're getting into the colder months and people are now travelling more.
"The State Government has introduced free flu vaccines for everyone this June to give people more opportunities to take up the vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"While WA continues to travel exceptionally well, we have to be cognisant that COVID-19 related workforce absenteeism in the health system will continue to be a challenge, and these challenges are no different to what other jurisdictions are also facing.
"Our dedicated healthcare workforce continues to rise to this challenge, but as a community we must do everything we can to protect them, including getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza.
"It is especially important that we continue to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, as we have done throughout the pandemic, which is why the latest health advice is that vaccine mandates should remain for some high-risk workplaces.
"I'd like to thank the entire Western Australian community for their continued co-operation as we head towards winter and especially acknowledge health, disability and aged care staff who continue to go the extra mile to keep others safe."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 5900