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Free travel into Western Australia has been banned from every state for the first time since November 2020.
Despite being 50 days away from abandoning its hard border policy WA Premier Mark McGowan announced he would reclassify Tasmania as a ‘low risk’ state by Sunday – meaning travellers will need to isolate for 14 days on arrival.
Tasmania has consistently been considered a ‘very low risk state’ since WA’s border risk classification system was introduced in November 2020 – which allowed quarantine-free travel.
The upgrade to low risk means no interstate traveller to WA will be able to avoid a quarantine period and they must be fully vaccinated.
Mr McGowan said the decision was made after Tasmania began reporting its first community cases of the virus after relaxing restrictions this week.
“Tasmania has had its first cases and we expect that to grow based upon the experience in South Australia and Queensland,” he said.
The Premier said the government was doing everything it could to keep Christmas in WA COVID-free.
“We don’t want to see the pandemonium and chaos that is occurring in states in the east occur here over this crucial period for families and small businesses,” he said.
“We want our small businesses to be successful over the Christmas New Year period, hospitality, tourism, the retail sector, they rely upon this period for a great proportion of their sales throughout the year.”
Queensland will also be elevated to a ‘medium risk’ state, which requires travellers to have an exemption, be fully vaccinated, complete 14 days of isolation and provide a negative PCR test three days prior to arrival.
Mr McGowan said WA would reach a 90 per cent single dose vaccination rate today for 12’s and over and 81 per cent full vaccination.
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