As a result of the new super-fast spreading UK variant of COVID-19, new protective measures have been introduced to further limit the spread and risk of the deadly virus.
Daily saliva tests for all workers in Western Australia’s quarantine settings will start as soon as possible and builds on the mandatory, rolling, weekly COVID-19 PCR tests for higher risk quarantine workers and the DETECT testing programs already in place.
Western Australia’s weekly international arrival cap of 1,025 will drop to around 512 a week in a bid to stem the flow of returning overseas travellers that present the highest risk of transmitting COVID-19. It is expected this reduced cap will remain until at least mid-February.
Other measures recommended by the AHPPC and endorsed at National Cabinet include international arrivals needing to receive a negative test result before boarding their flight to Australia.
It is now also compulsory for masks to be worn on all international and domestic flights, including flights within WA and within airports.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Early evidence shows this super-fast spreading UK variant of COVID-19 is 70 per cent more infectious than other strains.
“This new strain is now setting a whole new benchmark in our fight against COVID-19.
“The introduction of more protection measures will help us in our response to stop any COVID-19 spread into WA.
“We need to keep up the good fight against COVID-19 and now more than ever we need to be extra vigilant, follow the health advice, and practise COVID-safe principles to keep the WA community safe.”