Western Australia will enforce mandatory COVID-19 registering at many businesses from next month, but Premier Mark McGowan insists the system is “not relevant” to the easing of border restrictions.
The new contact tracing system will come into effect from December 5, requiring hospitality venues, gyms, cinemas and other businesses to keep track of patrons.
This can be achieved through customers scanning QR codes using a new SafeWA app or using existing means, including filling out paper forms.
Fines of up to $250,000 for non-compliant businesses and $50,000 for individuals will be enforced.
WA eased its hard border restrictions earlier this month.
However, travellers from Victoria, NSW and South Australia are still required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival until those states go at least 28 days with no community transmission.
Easing of restrictions
Victoria is due to meet that benchmark on Friday, but the premier remains adamant there is no guarantee the quarantine requirement will be removed.
“We’ll consider it, I expect, around then,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“People from Victoria can come here currently, they just have to quarantine.
“I haven’t heard many complaints about that.
“I think that’s reasonably fair.”
Factors to consider
Mr McGowan said health authorities would take into account the other states’ sewerage testing results, border arrangements and testing regimes.
He rejected concerns that the government’s position was hurting business certainty.
“I meet scores of business people. They all like the fact we’ve kept COVID out and our economy is very, very successful,” he said.
WA’s border closures remain highly popular ahead of the March state election.
Newly-elected opposition leader Zak Kirkup has sought to neutralise the issue, saying the Liberals will be on a unity ticket with the government over the policy.
“There will be no deviation between the Liberal party and the Labor party when it comes to COVID-19,” he said.
Mr McGowan insisted the new contact tracing requirement, long called for by health experts, was “not relevant” to the borders.
Any patron aged 16 years or over will be required to provide their name and telephone number.
The records will be kept for 28 days before being disposed of, and are not to be used for purposes other than contact tracing.
Who will need to register contacts?
- * Food and licensed venues
- * Gyms, indoor sporting centres and pools
- * Places of worship and funeral parlours
- * Beauty and personal care services including hairdressers and barbers
- * Galleries and museums, cinemas, theatres and other entertainment venues
- * Auction houses and real estate inspections
- * Community facilities, libraries and halls
- * Zoos and amusement parks
- * Function centres
- * Accommodation facilities that already have check-in arrangements in place.