WA opens borders – but not to everyone

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After hard lockdowns, travellers from New South Wales and Victoria have been granted quarantine free access to Western Australia. As of 8 December, passengers will be able to freely explore the country’s west coast, pending no further outbreaks.

Upon arrival, passengers must declare that they have no COVID-19 symptoms in a G2G pass and will undergo a temperature test and health screening. They must also be prepared to take a COVID-19 test if recommended by health professionals. 

“Fourteen days of self-quarantine will no longer be required,” said Premier Mark McGowan, who praised the efforts of Australians. “It’s an outstanding achievement, unrivalled around the world.”

He praised Victorians for the success of their extended lockdown. “It has been a remarkable effort from Victorians, in particular,” he said.

While WA has reported new coronavirus cases, they were all contained within hotel quarantine, making this the state’s 236th day without community transmission. WA’s total number of infections currently sits at 821.

However, despite the excitement of passengers from Victoria and NSW, one state was notably excluded.

Travellers from South Australia, which currently has 14 active cases, will not be able to travel to WA without an exemption. 

In SA, around 1100 people remain in quarantine, with thousands more getting tested every day. “It is really over to the public now, going out and getting tested,” said chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier. “We have put in place so many testing opportunities – we have tried to make it as comfortable as possible, particularly at the showground [testing station].”

“I urge every South Australian … if you’re not feeling well, go and get tested,” said Professor Spurrier.

While the open borders are good news for many domestic travellers, Premier McGowan warns that they can just as easily and swiftly close should the need be.

Does WA opening its borders to NSW and Victoria benefit you? Are you currently restricted to travel within your own state? Where in Australia do you most want to travel to?

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