Western Australia has escalated its COVID-19 pandemic response with tougher border rules, banning Queenslanders and South Australians.
From Friday at 6pm, Queensland and SA will be deemed extreme risk states, with travellers not permitted into WA except in extraordinary circumstances.
Premier Mark McGowan says both states had recorded significant COVID-19 case spikes in recent days.
“The arrival of the Omicron variant in Australia has seen cases surge in both Queensland and South Australia, and unfortunately we expect this trend to continue,” he said on Thursday.
Travellers from the two states approved for entry into WA under their previous classification of high risk have been warned to move quickly.
Under the extreme risk classification, travel exemptions are only approved for commonwealth and state officials, members of parliament, diplomats, and people who perform specialist roles.
Extraordinary circumstances entry applications will be assessed by WA police or Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson.
All approved travellers must be double dose vaccinated and have returned a negative PCR test 72 hours before arriving in WA.
They also must undertake hotel quarantine at a state-run facility for 14 days at their expense and get tested for the virus on days one, five and 13.
It comes a day after WA has detected two new local COVID-19 cases linked to an infected French backpacker who travelled from Queensland.
The community cluster which sprang from Perth Mess Hall dance party 10 days ago has grown to 12 infections with fears more cases may follow.
WA’s first dose vaccination rate climbs to 91.7 per cent for people over 12 and 83.6 per cent double