The Western Australian government has announced it will elevate NSW to a new ‘extreme risk’ category from Thursday based on the latest health advice.
With COVID case numbers continuing to increase in NSW, and the situation unlikely to improve significantly in the short term, the WA chief health officer has determined the need to impose the strictest state border restrictions ever seen on NSW arrivals.
Under the new extreme risk category, travel from NSW to Western Australia will not be permitted.
Exemptions for approved travellers has been further restricted to Commonwealth and state officials, members of Parliament, diplomats and specialist or extraordinary circumstances determined by the state emergency coordinator or WA’s chief health officer.
Unless advised otherwise, these approved travellers are required to undertake mandatory hotel quarantine at a state quarantine facility for 14 days at their expense.
They are also required to get tested for COVID-19 on days one, five and 13, to have returned a negative COVID-19 PCR test in the past 72 hours, and to have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, if eligible.
Under the extreme risk setting, if a Western Australian returning from overseas falls into one of the above categories, is approved to enter WA and has completed 14 days of supervised quarantine in NSW, they will be required to undergo 14 days of self-quarantine in a suitable premise.
The trigger for review which guided the WA government’s implementation of an extreme risk classification is a 500-case rolling average over five or 14 days.
The decision comes not long after the WA government upped its border restrictions for NSW, becoming the first state or territory to require proof of vaccination for travellers.
Meanwhile, Victoria announced a statewide lockdown over the weekend due to the growing COVID-19 cluster in Shepparton, which has forced South Australia to imposed level six restrictions on residents returning from Victoria.
Tasmania has downgraded all of the Northern Territory to ‘low risk’, while New Zealand has extended its nationwide lockdown for another four days.
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