Western Australia has announced that soon NSW travellers allowed into the state will need to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test prior to travel, in the state’s toughest border restrictions to date.
From 17 August, travellers from NSW will be required to prove they have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, if they are eligible, as well as present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of travel.
These new requirements will be on top of the state’s existing entry requirements, meaning NSW residents will also need a formal exemption provided by the state government to enter, and will also need to complete 14 days home quarantine.
Since the beginning of Sydney’s Delta outbreak in June, WA has placed NSW in its ‘medium risk’ category for interstate travel purposes, however from 17 August, the state will be moved up to ‘high risk’, which prompts the new restrictions.
States will now be considered ‘high risk’ when new community COVID cases increase at a rate of 50 or more per day, and the same restrictions will apply.
With the announcement, the WA government also revealed its newest ‘extreme risk’ category, which is prompted when a state sees 500 or more new community cases per day.
Under the ‘extreme risk’ category, travellers will need to not only adhere to the same exemption, testing and vaccination rules as under the ‘high risk’ category, but will also need to enter into mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine.
Additional COVID-19 tests must be taken on day one, five and 12 of quarantine.
The WA government also stated that very few exemptions for entry will be offered to people wishing to travel to the state from ‘extreme risk’ locations.
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The news was revealed as NSW reported 390 new local COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest daily figure the state has seen.
“These are tough measures but they are necessary to protect the state,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.
While pre-flight testing and vaccination requirements are often required around the world prior to international travel, WA is the first Australian state to introduce such measures for interstate arrivals.
“I think this is actually a template for other states to look at, should they want to put in place measures to protect themselves from the raging outbreak in New South Wales,” Premier McGowan said.
He added that the new requirements create a pathway back to WA for people who may have found themselves stranded in NSW longer than they anticipated.
“It gives a way back for people who are West Australians who may have gone to New South Wales over the course of this year, who want to come back home, and who never expected what has occurred in New South Wales would occur,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Premier announced that as a result of a recent Delta outbreak in Canberra, from 12:01am on Saturday the ACT will be moved up to a ‘medium risk’ location, with travellers now requiring an exemption to enter the state. They must also perform 14 days self-isolation .
At the same time, South Australia has been downgraded back to ‘low risk’, meaning people need to complete a mandatory G2G Pass registration and declaration, and complete 14 days self-quarantine in suitable premises.
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