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COVID-19: All your questions on WA’s border opening answered

When will the border reopening date be announced?

As WA has now reached 80 per cent fully vaccinated, Mark McGowan will confirm the reopening date at Monday morning’s Emergency Management Team and Cabinet meetings, before announcing it later in the day.

When will the border reopen?

Around late January to early February, about the time WA was expected to reach 90 per cent double dosed for over 12s.

What if WA doesn’t reach 90 per cent before the date?

McGowan has said once the date was announced it would be “locked in” irrespective of the vaccination rate.

What are the interstate travel rules once the border opens?

Interstate travellers won’t need to quarantine provided they provide proof of vaccination, return a negative PCR test within 72 hours of travel and undertake another test on arrival. Unvaccinated interstate travellers will be banned unless they are exempt for medical reasons or aged under 12.

What are the international travel rules once the border opens?

There will be no caps on vaccinated arrivals from overseas. Vaccinated international travellers won’t need to quarantine, but must test negative before travel and on arrival. Unvaccinated international travellers must complete 14 days in hotel quarantine.

Will I still need a G2G Pass?

Yes.

Will WA reintroduce a hard border after the reopening date?

No.

What happens if there’s an outbreak before the reopening date?

The Government will aim to eliminate COVID using restrictions such as another lockdown.

What restrictions will be introduced when WA reopens at 90 per cent?

McGowan wants only “light touch” restrictions, such as mask-wearing on public transport, hospitals and aged care facilities, as well as proof of vaccination to attend large events, nightclubs and the casino.

What restrictions will be introduced if WA reopens before 90 per cent?

“Step-up” measures could include proof of vaccination for hospitality venues, cinemas and gyms, masks and capacity limits in more indoor settings and rapid testing at workplaces.

What point could stricter measures be introduced in an outbreak?

At any point where community transmission is deemed “unacceptably high”, based on health advice at the time.

How many cases will WA have?

WA Health modelling estimates there will be 43,108 cases in the first year after the border reopens at 90 per cent, including 106 ICU admissions and 117 deaths. This was based on the Delta variant, not Omicron.

Will test and trace continue?

Yes. Vaccination alone is not enough to keep cases within manageable levels. Baseline restrictions and testing, tracing and isolation of cases and their close contacts will be required.

Will the SafeWA app and contact registers continue?

Yes.

Why isn’t WA’s border opening at 80 per cent?

McGowan said he wanted to keep WA restriction-free for the school holidays. WA Health modelling also estimated there would be about 200 fewer deaths from COVID in the first year.

Which jurisdictions are the WA border open to?

From Monday, arrivals from Queensland must self-quarantine for 14 days. It leaves Tasmania as the only State which WA permits quarantine-free travel from.

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