18/08/2021 - 14:00

Window to return could soon close: McGowan

18/08/2021 - 14:00

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Premier Mark McGowan has urged Western Australians still in New South Wales to return home, warning that the window could soon close.

Window to return could soon close: McGowan
Mr McGowan said that while NSW was not yet considered an ‘extreme risk’ jurisdiction, he urged Western Australians to come home. Photo: David Henry

Premier Mark McGowan has urged Western Australians still in New South Wales to return home, warning that the window would soon close if the outbreak continued to escalate.

NSW recorded 633 new locally acquired of COVID-19 cases and three deaths today, taking its total number of cases to 14,416.

During a press conference this morning, Mr McGowan said that while NSW was not yet at the point where it would be considered an ‘extreme risk’ jurisdiction under the newly-amended border risk framework, he urged Western Australians to come home.

It is understood the chief health officer is monitoring the situation closely, but that any change in risk rating would require NSW to record an average of more than 500 cases per day over a five to 14-day period.

Under the rating, entry into WA would be reserved only for those the state cannot restrict under the constitution, including Commonwealth, state and specialist officials.

The changes to WA’s controlled border risk matrix yesterday, under which approved travellers in high risk jurisdictions will be required to return a negative PCR test, provide proof of vaccination and use the G2G app while in quarantine.

Under the matrix, a state will be deemed high risk if it records between 50 to 500 community cases per day, while an 'extreme risk' level will be reserved for jurisdictions that record more than 500 community cases per day.

Additionally, approved travellers in extreme risk jurisdictions will also be required to complete quarantine at a state facility.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has moved to a ‘low risk’ jurisdiction this afternoon after recording four new cases overnight.

The new risk rating means travellers arriving in WA will be required to quarantine and undergo COVID testing.

More than 73,000 people between the ages of 16 and 29 registered for the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday as the state entered its second day of the vaccination blitz.

A total of 14,115 vaccines were administered at state-run clinics yesterday.

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