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WA broadens proof of vaccination rules and changes hotel quarantine requirements

Proof of vaccination requirements in Western Australia will be broadly expanded by the end of the month and changes have also been announced for the hotel quarantine system as it becomes crowded with travellers.

Premier Mark McGowan told reporters on Thursday that many Covid-19 restrictions and rules would remain in place for years.

“Covid has been around for two years, it’s showing no signs of slowing down over east,” he said.

“I expect these requirements will be in place for years to come.”

From January 31, WA will expand its proof of vaccination requirements for visitors to public and private hospitals and aged care facilities.

It will also include all hospitality venues including restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, clubs, taverns, nightclubs and dine-in fast food.

Roadhouses, service stations and takeaway will be exempt.

Visitors to indoor entertainment venues are also required to show proof of vaccination, including at play centres, gaming and gambling places, theatres, concert halls, museums, cinemas and live music venues.

It will also apply to bottle shops, the entire Crown Perth complex, major stadiums, gyms, fitness centres, health studios, amusement parks, the zoo, and music festivals and large events with more than 500 people unless exempt.

Community sport and school-based events, unless at one of the specific venues listed, are exempt from the proof of vaccination requirement.

“It reduces the risks posed by unvaccinated people bringing the virus into busy, populated settings,” Mr McGowan said.

“Life will become very difficult for the unvaccinated from January 31. No pubs, no bottle shops, no gym, no yoga classes.

“These will be the broadest proof of vaccination requirements in the nation, and they will not be removed anytime soon.”

Mr McGowan said WA had seen the “disaster” in NSW and was determined not to repeat their mistakes.

Effective immediately, a double vaccinated person who records negative PCR results from tests on days one and six of hotel quarantine will be able to leave hotel quarantine on day eight if they have a suitable place to isolate for the final seven days.

They must also undertake a PCR test on days nine and 12. If the day 12 test comes back negative, they can leave quarantine at the end of day 14.

“As an added security measure, any members of the household where the person is conducting their quarantine will also be required to self-quarantine, use the G2G app and undertake a PCR test on the traveller’s day 12,” Mr McGowan said.

“All tests will be undertaken by WA Health using mobile testing at self-quarantine premises.

“This will be a more effective way of managing the burden on our hotel quarantine system going forward, especially until the commonwealth’s quarantine facility is finished.

“The threat of Omicron is real. With such a heavy load going into our hotel quarantine system from interstate travel, it’s important we move people out safely.”

It comes as WA recorded two new local cases and 14 travel-related infections overnight.

One of the new cases is linked to the Hyatt Hotel cluster and the other is a household contact of previous infection related to interstate travel. Both are in quarantine.

Mr McGowan said the second person had picked up her daughter from the airport upon her arrival from Tasmania.

Eleven cases relate to returned interstate travellers and three are linked to overseas travellers. All are in quarantine.

WA Health said investigations were continuing into how a woman who acquired the virus from an unknown source was exposed.

“Genomic sequencing is underway to determine the variant,” WA Health said.

“This case is in quarantine. Household contacts have been tested and are negative.

“The woman was infectious in the community but did not attend work and there are likely only a limited number of potential exposure sites.”

Exposure sites are continuing to be added here.

It has also been revealed that a Covid-positive person, who was self-quarantining in a city hotel, travelled in a rideshare vehicle to the Royal Perth Hospital testing clinic on Wednesday.

A St John Ambulance Covid-19 vehicle returned the person to the hotel.

Mr McGowan said the rideshare driver had been found and was being tested.

“The risk to the community is considered to be extremely low, as it is unlikely this case is still infectious,” WA Health said.

WA has a first dose vaccination rate of 94.4 per cent for people aged 12 and over.

The double dose vaccination rate is 87 per cent, while the booster rate is 18.1 per cent for people aged 16 and over.

“WA is on the cusp of reaching our first rate for over 12 of 95 per cent,” Mr McGowan said.

“That as a target that many thought we would never reach even a few weeks ago, and vaccinations are still climbing significantly every single day.”

WA is closed off to the rest of Australia but is scheduled to reopen the border on February 5.

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