08/01/2021 - 10:21

WA border closed to Queensland

08/01/2021 - 10:21

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The state government will close the border to Queensland from tonight after the highly infectious UK strain of COVID-19 was detected.

WA border closed to Queensland

The state government will close the border to Queensland from tonight after the highly infectious UK strain of COVID-19 was detected.

A three-day lockdown of the Greater Brisbane area starts at 6pm Queensland time tonight, and the WA border will be closed to people travelling from Queensland from midnight WA time.

More than 7500 people who have arrived in WA from Queensland since January 2 will have to complete 14 days in self-quarantine and will be required to take a COVID test by Tuesday. Capacity at COVID clinics will be increased to meet demand.

About 1400 passengers are due to arrive at Perth Airport from Queensland before the border is closed at midnight. They will be tested on arrival at the airport and will be required to self-quarantine.

Premier Mark McGowan urged Western Australians not to travel interstate unless it was absolutely necessary and told Queenslanders in WA they should consider returning home.

"Obviously, if this keeps happening we don't rule out just shutting the border completely (to all states)," he said.

"That would be a measure that if the health advice said we needed to do it, we would do it."

The 7500 passengers who have already arrived in WA from Queensland since January 2 will be contacted by police today and told to either self-quarantine or return to Queensland. All G2G passes issued to people from Queensland for travel after today will be cancelled. 

Mr McGowan said Western Australia was going further than any other state by closing the border to all of Queensland, rather than just the areas where COVID may be detected.

"As we know, COVID does not respect postcodes," he said.

He said he had expected 2021 to be better than 2020, but it had not turned out that way. "In many ways, it's worse," he said.

He also urged Western Australians to have a reusable mask on hand. The wearing of a mask would be mandatory on both domestic and international flights and also at airports, he said.

But Mr McGowan ruled out using Rottnest Island as a quarantine facility in the short term.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed the decision by the Queensland Government to have a brief lockdown to allow Queensland health authorities to get on top of any outbreak.

"A big thanks in advance to everyone in greater Brisbane for their patience in coming days," Mr Morrison said.

"This will buy much needed time."

More to come.

 

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