West Australian Premier Mark McGowan is the only state leader who won’t attend Friday’s National Cabinet meeting in Canberra – because he’s trying to avoid South Australian Premier Steven Marshall.
He doesn’t want to be in the same room as Marshall because the state’s health advisors have deemed it too risky for West Aussies to mix with South Australians, The West Australian reports.
WA is the only state that has kept restrictions in place with South Australia due to COVID fears after a recent cluster of cases emerged there.
But Marshall is still hopeful that the borders will be fully reopened without the need to quarantine before Christmas, so that family, friends and loved ones can reunite.
This week, WA moved to lift travel rules for people coming from NSW and Victoria after declaring those states “very low risk”.
And from Friday, SA travellers will no longer require exemptions to enter WA.
But they will still need to enter self-quarantine.
Selling COVID-safe SA
Marshall said he would seek to speak with McGowan in Canberra on Thursday and would point out how well SA had contained its recent cluster of coronavirus cases.
“There are many people in our state who have friends, they’ve got family, they’ve got loved ones in Western Australia and they would love to see them,” Marshall said.
“It’s now time for Western Australia to again consider lifting those restrictions in time for Christmas.”
SA reported no new infections for the 11th day in a row on Wednesday, leaving the so-called Parafield cluster at 33.
But the state currently has no active infections.
A number of states imposed travel restrictions on South Australia when the cluster first emerged, but those have largely been removed or soon will be.
Local restrictions eased
From next week, SA will also ease a range of local restrictions it imposed last month, which will include allowing up to 50 people at household gatherings, including Christmas celebrations.
Patrons in pubs and restaurants will also be allowed to consume drinks while standing up while the size of funerals and weddings will rise to 200.
The capacity in entertainment venues, such as theatres of cinemas, will increase from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, provided people are wearing face masks.