Western Australia has confirmed that their harsh borders will relax to Queensland by the end of the week, by New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT will still be locked out for Christmas.
From 12.01 am on Friday, the Sunshine State will be officially downgraded from ‘low risk’ to ‘very low risk’ according to WA.
That’s the same status as South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
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It means Queenslanders will be able to travel into WA without being required to quarantine.
WA Premier Mark McGowan confirmed the border changes yesterday.
“I want to stress again this decision has been based on updated health advice. I also want to be very clear, that if the health advice changes, then we will not hesitate to strengthen border controls if that’s what the Chief Health Officer advises is required to protect the people of Western Australia,” Mr McGowan said.
“Our approach will remain cautious and careful but ultimately very safe, that is why Western Australia border controls with NSW, the ACT and Victoria will remain in place.”
The WA Premier has also ruled out released a border reopening plan similar to Queensland’s by Christmas time, essentially confirming that New Sout Wales, the ACT and Victoria will be blocked out until at least the new year.
“Queensland has social safety measures in place and I don’t want to do that at Christmas,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
“Imagine if we opened up like they’re proposing to do before Christmas and we have to put in place mask-wearing requirements and restrictions on the number of people going to restaurants and cafes, how many people can come to Christmas lunch.
“Setting out the timetable Queensland has is not something we’re going to do.”
“The other point is, of course, Queensland is very reliant on tourists from NSW and Victoria and obviously that period over January is the strongest time for their tourism industry.
“We are in a different position in regards to that and clearly I want to make sure our businesses flourish, we don’t have public health safety measures that would restrict activity and the enjoyment of the Christmas holidays in place in Western Australia.
“I’m doing the right thing by the state, making sure we remain as healthy as possible, keeping COVID out while our vaccination rates continue to climb,” Mr McGowan said.