17/12/2020 - 19:39

Travellers from NSW now face full 14-day quarantine

17/12/2020 - 19:39

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Just hours after announcing travellers to WA from NSW would have to quarantine until they had returned a negative result for COVID, WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced arrivals from NSW must now quarantine for a full 14 days.

Travellers from NSW now face full 14-day quarantine

Just hours after announcing travellers to WA from NSW would have to quarantine until they had returned a negative result for COVID, WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced arrivals from NSW must now quarantine for a full 14 days.

Mr McGowan released a statement this evening that said a further 12 locally acquired cases had been found in NSW since he made the original decision.

WA chief health officer Andrew Robertson consulted with NSW Health and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) before providing the advice that led Mr McGowan to beef up the quarantine regime.

Mr McGowan said he held an emergency meeting with Mr Robertson, Health Minister Roger Cook,  Police Commissioner Chris Dawson and Director General of Health, David Russell-Weisz.

"The state government will now take further steps to prevent COVID-19 coming into the WA community. Based on the health advice, NSW will now transition from a ‘very low risk’ state to a ‘low risk’ state under our controlled interstate border," Mr McGowan said.

The new rules apply from 12.01am on Friday, December 18, and people arriving from NSW will also undergo a COVID test on Day 11 of their quarantine.

About 5000 people who have already arrived from NSW, but entered WA from December 11, will also have to self-quarantine and undergo a COVID test as soon as possible. They can leave quarantine once a negative result has been received, but another test will be required on the 11th day after their arrival in WA. This also applies to anyone who arrived from another part of Australia who may been in NSW after December 11.

"The State Government is taking these important and extra cautious steps, based on the most up-to-date expert health advice," Mr McGowan said.

"We will continue to monitor the situation in New South Wales very closely and provide any further updates when necessary and appropriate.

"We are very concerned there will be many more community cases in NSW. I understand these changes will cause frustration and uncertainty for some people, and be very upsetting for many families looking to reunite and spend Christmas together.

"This has been a difficult decision to make, but we need to follow the health advice and do what is in the best interest of all Western Australians. Thank you for your co-operation and understanding during this difficult time."

The new border regime will come under close scrutiny in the coming days, and may transition to a hard border if the NSW northern beaches cluster continues to grow. 

The cluster was discovered yesterday when six people tested positive to COVID-19, but that number increased to 17 today. There is also one airport worker, who lives in the southern suburbs of Sydney, who has tested positive to COVID.

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