Based on the latest health advice, Victoria will be further elevated to an ‘extreme’ risk category from 12.01am Wednesday, September 29, 2021.
With case numbers continuing to increase in Victoria, and the situation unlikely to improve significantly in the short term, the WA Chief Health Officer has advised the need to elevate conditions on Victorian arrivals.
This means that under the ‘extreme risk’ category, travel from Victoria to Western Australia will not be permitted unless approved under the strictest of conditions.
Under this category, the exemptions for approved travellers have been further restricted to Commonwealth and State officials, Members of Parliament, Diplomats and specialist or extraordinary circumstances determined by the State Emergency Coordinator or the Chief Health Officer. These approved travellers are subject to the following conditions, unless otherwise advised:
- undertake hotel quarantine at a State facility for 14 days at their expense;
- get tested for COVID-19 on days one, five and 13;
- have returned a negative COVID-19 PCR test in the past 72 hours before departing;
- receipt of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, if eligible.
Under the ‘extreme risk’ setting, if a Western Australian returning from overseas falls into one of the above categories, is approved to enter WA and has completed 14 days of supervised quarantine in Victoria they will be required to undergo 14 days of self-quarantine in a suitable premise.
The trigger for review, which guides the implementation of an ‘extreme risk’ classification, is a 500 case rolling average over five or 14 days.
Under WA’s Controlled Interstate Border, travel is permitted from ‘very low risk’ jurisdictions (Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia), and is also permitted from ‘low risk’ jurisdictions (Queensland), with 14 days of self-quarantine and relevant COVID-19 testing.
The Australian Capital Territory is at the ‘medium risk’ setting, which means travel is only permitted unless approved.
WA’s border arrangements are enacted under the Emergency Management Act and failure to follow these directions will be enforceable by law, with penalties ranging from $1,000 infringements to up to $50,000 fines for individuals.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by the growing outbreak in Victoria.
“It’s heartbreaking to see what is happening over east.
“As the situation there continues to escalate, we need to do everything we can to protect Western Australia, while we continue to get as many people vaccinated.
“This means Western Australians currently in Victoria with an approved G2G Pass should come home immediately, because once the reclassification kicks in next week, they will not be able to do so, except for the most extraordinary circumstances.
“We don’t take this situation lightly, however, my priority is the health of Western Australians first and foremost.”
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“What’s happened in New South Wales and now Victoria just demonstrates how determined the COVID-19 virus is.
“It’s vital we follow the health advice and take every precaution we can to keep COVID out of our community.
“In WA we are so fortunate to be where we are now with no COVID in our community.
“That’s why we cannot be complacent, and we all need to keep up good hygiene, use SafeWA, and stay home if we’re unwell.”