26 September 2023

WA opens hotels for Afghan refugees

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Western Australia is to provide quarantine facilities for people brought to Australia after being evacuated from Afghanistan.

The quarantine accommodation in the State’s managed quarantine hotels has been offered in addition to the existing international flight cap.

Premier, Mark McGowan said it was expected the evacuees from the Middle Eastern country would include Australian customs and immigration personnel, consular and Foreign Service officers, as well as Afghan interpreters and contractors who helped Australian Defence Force troops.

“Staff and contractors at State-managed quarantine hotels are already familiar with COVID-19 precautions, and the transfer of the evacuees from airport to hotel will be managed by local authorities such as WA Police, including a dedicated team overseen by the Department of Health,” Mr McGowan said.

“Western Australia is pleased to offer this assistance to the Commonwealth Government in the evacuation of these people.”

Mr McGowan said the safe return of people who had been undertaking service for Australia was paramount given the current circumstances in Afghanistan.

“Western Australia’s experience of safely managing the risk of COVID-19 speaks for itself and, when faced with the current situation on the East Coast, it makes sense that we offer our assistance by providing quarantine facilities,” he said.

The Premier was supported by Minister for Health, Roger Cook who said it was a humanitarian response “and, as a State, we are best placed to assist”.

“The risk of COVID-19 is real and as a State we continue to take every precaution to protect our community,” Mr Cook said.

“We have tried and tested systems and processes in place to manage the transfer of international travelers safely to hotel quarantine,” Mr Cook said.

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