Based on the latest health advice, South Australia will transition from ‘very low risk’ to ‘low risk’ border controls under Western Australia’s controlled border effective immediately (November 27).
The elevated risk level has been put in place following the detection of the new Omicron variant in a number of countries around the world.
South Australia has also registered a number of non-Omicron variant COVID-19 cases in recent days from interstate.
The changes are part of a cautious approach, with South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria all having eased their international borders and relaxed quarantine requirements for overseas travellers.
Victoria remains at ‘extreme risk’, New South Wales at ‘high risk’ and the Australian Capital Territory at ‘medium risk’.
The ‘low risk’ setting for South Australia means travel is only permitted on the following strict conditions:
- be double dose vaccinated (for eligible people);
- present for a COVID-19 test on arrival (within 48 hours) and on day 12;
- self-quarantine for 14 days in a suitable premise;
- complete a G2G Pass prior to arrival, stipulating they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms and which jurisdictions they have visited in the previous 14 days;
- land arrivals to be met at the border checkpoint for a health screening and to have their G2G Pass checked before proceeding to their self-quarantine.
Anyone who arrived in Western Australia between November 23 and 3pm, November 27 and has been at the listed exposure venues, at the specified times between November 23 and 1:15pm on November 27, is required to self-quarantine for 14 days and be tested immediately (within 48 hours) and at day 12.
It is important that recent travellers from South Australia familiarise themselves with the latest exposure sites reported by SA Health.
Anyone who has not been to these sites but develops any symptoms or is experiencing any symptoms, even mild, that could be related to COVID-19, is advised to get tested and quarantine until they return a negative test.
The WA Chief Health Officer will continue to monitor and review border controls.
Queensland and Tasmania remain as ‘very low risk’ jurisdictions.
WA’s border arrangements are enacted under the Emergency Management Act and failure to follow these directions will be enforceable by law, with penalties ranging from $1,000 infringements to up to $50,000 fines for individuals.
More information on WA’s controlled borders is available at https://www.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“There is a great deal of uncertainty about the recently emerged Omicron variant so it is important Western Australia has strong protections in place for States which have relaxed their international borders.
“The new variant emerged in southern Africa and is now understood to have been detected in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
“With little known about the variant, it is important we act with an abundance of caution in dealing with potential spread into WA from overseas travellers arriving in other States.
“South Australia has also seen an increase in COVID-19 from interstate in recent days. While these are not Omicron cases, they clearly still present a risk to the Western Australian community.
“As such, on the latest health advice, we need to upgrade our border controls with South Australia.
“We will continue to watch the situation in Queensland and Tasmania, which are currently classified as ‘very low risk’, and act on the latest health advice as required.”
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“It is concerning that international travellers may enter South Australia via New South Wales, Victoria or the ACT – without quarantining – and then travel onto Western Australia.
“South Australia’s relaxed border policy has seen increased infections from other States, and while they have not yet had community transmission, there is an increased number of exposure sites.
“Anyone travelling from South Australia will be subject to a number of conditions, including 14 days’ self-quarantine, to ensure we reduce any risk of potential spread from international arrivals into South Australia, or those travelling over the border from other States.
“Western Australia’s strong international border controls remain in place, providing an important level of protection as this situation develops.
“This is another reminder that people cannot be complacent when it comes to getting vaccinated. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones and we urge everyone who hasn’t yet to roll up for WA.”