WA border rules to change, as COVID spreads



Western Australia has recorded 13 more local COVID-19 cases ahead of a slight softening of the state’s severe border rules.

Five of the Tuesday’s Omicron cases are not linked to known clusters and some have been infectious while in the community, WA Health said.

Just 6918 tests were completed in the 24-hour period, renewing concerns that the virus has likely spread further than reflected in the official figures.

Anyone who tests positive to the virus in WA is still required to quarantine for 14 days.

More than 18,000 people were swabbed in one day during a small Delta outbreak last winter when the number of active cases was far lower.

Many of the current Omicron cases have been linked to a Perth nightclub cluster, with several other nightspots added to the exposure site list on Tuesday.

Anyone in Perth, Peel, the Wheatbelt or South West who has symptoms should get tested immediately, WA Health said.

A broadening of exemptions for entering WA will come into effect from Saturday, the date which had previously been flagged for removing border controls.

The list includes people with direct family connections in WA and locals returning from visiting relatives in the eastern states, with G2G travel applications now being accepted.

Other people who have lived in WA within the past two years will be allowed back if they permanently relocate, as will some students and skilled workers.

But all arrivals still face 14 days in quarantine, including those allowed to return for funerals, to undergo urgent medical treatment or to see dying relatives.

Domestic arrivals can self-isolate if they have suitable premises, while direct international arrivals must spend at least a week in hotel quarantine.

Returning international students will be allowed into WA only if they arrive back in Australia before midnight on Friday.

The requirement to already be in the country was made clear only in recent days.

“The tight deadline is unfair, and gives students mere days to organise their flights, accommodation and study arrangements before Friday,” opposition spokesman Peter Rundle said.

“Already, there are reports of students altering their plans, changing to eastern states universities, where the entry requirements are less complex and less likely to change.”


We’ve Already Come Too Far To End This Now.

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