Western Australians arriving home from overseas will be able to avoid hotel quarantine and self-isolate at home soon if they return to Australia in a different state before travelling to WA.
This change will come into effect on 5 February, when the WA border was originally meant to reopen.
This means that Aussies returning to WA can avoid hefty hotel quarantine costs, while those going straight into the state will be forced into hotel isolation.
WA Premier, Mark McGowan, admitted there were “some inconsistencies” around the plan, so it begged the question, why is the government doing this?
International arrivals currently have to isolate in hotel quarantine at their own expense for seven of their two weeks in hotel quarantine.
People can undergo the loophole if prior to flying to Perth, they self quarantine for 14 days, are triple dose vaccinated, provide proof of negative rapid antigen test within 24 hours of departure, undergo a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, and on day 12 of quarantine, and comply with quarantine checks in-person, and via the G2G Now app.
Mark McGowan defended the decision to keep the states hotel quarantine system “operational” while a new quarantine facility was being built.
The quarantine Commonwealth facility in Bullsbrook was meant to be completed by the end of March, but after several delays McGowan said that WA will need to rely on hotel quarantine for a bit longer.
“We were originally promised March, that then moved to May, and now I am advised it’s July or August. It keeps going sideways,” he said.
The new quarantine rules are intended to reduce the load that hotels are taking by redirecting people to self-isolate at home.
McGowan warned that without enough capacity in the hotel quarantine system, anyone who needed to isolate away from their homes would have “nowhere to go.”
The updates to quarantine laws for WA come after McGowan prolonged the reopening of Western Australia’s border indefinitely last week.
The decision was updated due to the spread of the Omicron variant throughout the rest of Australia.
“Allowing a wave of Omicron cases to fly straight into Perth from February 5, with no testing, no quarantine and no public health measures would cause a flood of the disease across our State,” McGowan said.
“WA’s new Safe Transition Plan will begin to be implemented on February 5. However, the full border opening has been delayed.”
Featured image: Facebook/MarkMcGowanMP