The Western Australian premier, Mark McGowan, announced on Monday plans to allow interstate and international travellers to enter the state without quarantine from midnight on 5 February, when the state was expected to hit its 90 per cent fully vaccinated target.
Having achieved the 80 per cent vaccination rate, the locked-in transition date is based on the latest projections for when WA is at its target rate of 90 per cent double dose vaccination for eligible Western Australians aged 12 years and above.
WA’s current zero-COVID environment and high vaccination rate will help deliver the softest landing, to minimise the impact of the virus when it enters our State and to keep Western Australians safe for the long term.
To safely enable quarantine-free travel into the State, new testing requirements for arrivals will be introduced to assist with the safe transition of COVID-19 in the WA community.
Travellers to WA must be double-vaccinated and return a negative PCR test 72 hours before departure. The test must then be retaken on arrival in WA within 48 hours of arrival to WA and on day six.
While double dose vaccinated international arrivals will not be required to quarantine and are not subject to the arrivals cap, unvaccinated international arrivals will be required to quarantine for 14 days either in a designated hotel or the future quarantine facility.
All international travel into WA remains subject to the Commonwealth’s biosecurity and border settings – as that being the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government.
All domestic arrivals aged 12 and over must be double-dose vaccinated unless ineligible or medically exempt.
Testing requirements for domestic arrivals fall under three categories:
- interstate arrivals coming into WA or WA travellers leaving and returning on a trip that is six days or more will require a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure prior to travelling to WA, and undertake a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival;
- interstate arrivals coming into WA for five days or less will require a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure but are not required to have any tests on arrival into WA; and
- WA travellers who leave then return to WA within five days or less do not need a test before arriving back into the State, but they will require a PCR test within 48 hours of returning.
These are interim testing arrangements and are based on the current health advice. They will be subject to ongoing review including one after four weeks from the transition date.
WA’s unique position of zero-COVID and a 90 per cent vaccination rate means border controls can ease with minimal community restrictions compared to other jurisdictions.
Based on health advice, interim baseline public health and social measures will be applied at the point of transition, from 12.01am February 5, 2022.
Face masks will be required on public transport, taxis, at airports, on flights, and in hospitals and aged care facilities.
Proof of vaccination for people 16 years and older will be required at:
- venues or events with 1,000 or more patrons;
- the Crown complex; and
- the four major stadia (Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium and HBF Park)
Other businesses may also choose to have proof of vaccination requirements as a condition of entry to protect their staff and patrons. Businesses should consider their individual circumstances and seek their own legal advice before adopting a proof of vaccination requirement.
Contact registration including the use of SafeWA will be required at all public venues, taxis and rideshare services.
To keep patrons and staff safe, revised COVID Safety Plans, Event Plans and Checklists must be followed.
Public health and social measures may be scaled up or down based on updated health advice or rates of hospitalisation.
Additional restrictions may be required in some at-risk regional communities where current projections suggest higher levels of vaccination may take longer to achieve – this currently includes the Pilbara (currently 46.1 per cent double dose rate), Kimberley (currently 60.8 per cent double dose rate), and Goldfields (currently 65 per cent double dose rate). These regions are the only regions that currently have a first dose rate below 80 per cent.
If these regions do not reach at least an 80 per cent double dose vaccination by Saturday, February 5, they will be subject to the following temporary enhanced public health and social measures:
- proof of vaccination will be required at pubs, bars, dine-in cafés and restaurants, bottle shops, indoor entertainment venues, gyms and fitness centres;
- masks will be required at all indoor public venues without a proof of vaccination entry requirement (such as supermarkets, roadhouses and takeaway services); and
- only double dose vaccinated travellers will be permitted into the region by air.
These temporary additional health and social measures for impacted regions are to protect the very vulnerable communities until a higher level of vaccination is reached to minimise the risk.
These restrictions will be removed or stepped down once the required double dose vaccination rate is achieved in the region, subject to the specific health advice at the time.
The State Government is developing a new integrated mobile app that will make proof of vaccination, use of SafeWA and G2G registrations easier.
The app will be available early next year and provides safe, secure and convenient access to these State Government services and will provide a one-stop platform for additional services in the future.
Use of a printed copy of the COVID-19 digital certificate or immunisation history statement is also accepted as proof, however people will need to present approved identification with it.