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WA tightens border with Qld amid outbreak

Western Australia will tighten its border controls with Queensland due to a COVID-19 outbreak there, just days before WA sets a date to reopen its borders.

Premier Mark McGowan says Queensland will be elevated from a “very low risk” to a “low risk” jurisdiction from 12.01am on Monday.

That means travellers from the Sunshine State must be fully vaccinated, test negative and complete 14 days’ quarantine on arrival in WA.

Anyone already in WA who’s been to a Queensland exposure site will need to quarantine for 14 days and get tested.

Mr McGowan says the tightening is needed because Queensland has recorded seven local cases in the last two days and is easing its border restrictions on Monday.

“With community spread now being experienced in Queensland and its expected move to relax border controls and quarantine requirements with COVID-positive jurisdictions, in the midst of Omicron, we need to take caution and strengthen our border controls with Queensland,” he said in a statement on Saturday.

“This will inconvenience people however we know border controls work to keep WA safe and they’re effective in managing the risks of COVID-19 entering the community – while we don’t yet have sufficient levels of vaccination coverage.”

The move to clamp down on the border comes just days away from Mr McGowan setting a date for WA’s domestic borders reopening.

He has promised to reopen once 90 per cent of eligible West Australians are fully vaccinated and said he will set a date once WA hits 80 per cent.

Some 88.42 per cent of residents have had one dose of a vaccine and 79.62 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Mr McGowan said he expects to set the border opening date in coming days, possibly this week.

“As I’ve said, in coming days we expect to reach our 80 per cent double dose vaccination rate which means we can review the situation and confidently lock in a future date to proceed with our Safe Transition Plan next year,” he said.

“This is a timely reminder to get vaccinated. It will protect you, your family and your community.”

WA recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday after 489 tests at state clinics, while there are two active cases in hotel quarantine.

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