27 September 2023

Omicron forces COVID doors shut on border

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On the advice of the Department of Health, the State has delayed its full border opening as part of its updated COVID transition plan.

Minister for Health, Amber-Jade Sanderson said the decision was made in response to serious concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“The full impacts of Omicron in Australia are still unknown and the peak of infections has not yet been reached in jurisdictions with widespread transmission,” Ms Sanderson said.

“The new hard border settings will allow for more safe, compassionate travel and the return of Western Australians,” she said.

The Minister said under the new border settings, approved travellers would be permitted to enter the State, or leave it and return, with testing and quarantine requirements under expanded exemption criteria.

“Further review of border controls will be considered over the course of the next month,” she said.

Premier, Mark McGowan said the world changed in December when Omicron arrived in Australia.

“It would be irresponsible and reckless for the State Government to ignore the facts and ignore the reality of the situation playing out on the East Coast,” Mr McGowan said.

“Allowing a wave of Omicron cases to fly straight into Perth from 5 February, with no testing, no quarantine and no public health measures, would cause a flood of the disease across our State,” he said.

Ms Sanderson urged all Western Australians to get their third vaccination when they were due as “the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones”.

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