Western Australia’s border is set to reopen to New South Wales and Victoria on Tuesday as scheduled, Premier Mark McGowan has announced.
The WA Premier took the weekend to receive further tests results from NSW after a Sydney quarantine hotel cleaner tested positive to COVID last week.
The border reopening is to go ahead with the 14 day quarantine period dropped for those coming from both NSW and Victoria.
The decision comes after no locally acquired cases were recorded in NSW following the case.
“It is very pleasing to know that no further cases have been identified over the past five days,” McGowan told reporters.
“I want to acknowledge and thank everyone for their patience and understanding.”
The premier also announced that from Friday, travellers from South Australia will no longer require exemptions to enter the state.
They will still need to quarantine for 14 days.
Over the weekend there were fresh concerns about the border after two German travellers avoided hotel quarantine upon arrival into NSW. The bungle saw them jump on a flight to Melbourne instead.
NSW Police have since accepted responsibility for the bungle and the duo have tested negative to the virus.
“It’s certainly not the gold standard,” McGowan said, referencing a phrase used by NSW counterpart Gladys Berejiklian to describe her state’s handling of the pandemic.
“It obviously shows that COVID is a risk and that’s why we continue to have a controlled border to ensure we can protect people into the future.”
Those residing in NSW and Victoria have been blocked from entering WA for almost nine months.
They were only allowed to enter if they went into quarantine and, until recently, secured exemptions.
The decision to proceed with reopening the border is significant for many Aussies separated from loved ones with Christmas just around the corner.
It comes at a time when the federal government is urging people to travel across Australia in an attempt to help the struggling tourism industry.
– with AAP