Western Australia announce border re-open date

Western Australia announce border re-open date

WA’s hard border will come down 3 March, allowing triple-dose vaccinated travellers to enter the state without quarantine.

Travellers will be able to enter Western Australia if they meet the international requirements to enter Australia, take a rapid antigen test (RAT) within 12 hours of arrival, and report any positive result.

“March 3 will be a step forward for Western Australia, a safe step forward, taken at the right time, in the right way, for the right reasons,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.

The above restrictions are ‘level one measures’ however the premier warned that if case numbers were too high, then ‘level two measures’ could be implemented.

“These would include the four square metre rule indoors, mask-wearing measures [in schools] for years 3 and above, working from home for vulnerable people, and home gatherings reduced to a total of ten people,” McGowan said.

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) said the border re-opening is a step in the right direction, however, it urged the WA government to avoid “the disastrous 1 in 4sqm density limits that decimates businesses.”

“While the border reopening date is positive, the return of capacity restrictions is not welcome news for hospitality venues, who bear the brunt of such measures,” AHA(WA) CEO, Bradley Woods, said.

“WA is better prepared than any other state for the arrival and spread of Omicron and we urge the Government to ensure the 1 in 2sqm capacity restrictions apply for only a very limited period.

“Capacity restrictions directly impact on revenue and limit the ability for venues to trade through the pandemic, making any further restrictions beyond 1 in 2sqm limits unfeasible.

‘If we see restrictions imposed such as South Australia’s hospitality-destroying density limits of 1 in 4sqm, there will be widespread business closures and mass job losses.”

Woods also emphasised that while he understood the need for restrictions, they must be temporary to provide certainty and confidence to WA’s hotel, hospitality and tourism sector.

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