West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has urged residents not to leave the state unless it is “absolutely necessary” as he teased the return of a hard border with the rest of the country.

Mr McGowan has asked everyone in WA buy a reusable face mask after the state shut its border to Queensland due to Brisbane going into a three-day lockdown over a community case of the more infectious ‘UK strain’ of coronavirus.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced a hard border with Queensland as Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined a swag of new COVID-19 safety measures for the country.Credit:Cameron Myles

WA now has a hard border arrangement for the three biggest states in Australia and Mr McGowan said the situation could change extremely quickly.

“If this keeps happening we don’t rule out just shutting the border completely,” he said.

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

“We’re not out of the woods yet, you never know when we need to close down a state border and then you have to come home and quarantine.

“Also, if you go to other states you never know if you’re going to contract the virus.”

The Premier said it would not be necessary for anyone who recently had contact with someone from Queensland in WA to self-quarantine unless they developed COVID-19 symptoms.

As Australia sweats over the potential spread of the UK strain of COVID-19, which is more infectious than other versions, the Premier called on West Australians to get themselves a mask.

“My advice to every family and every household and every person in WA is make sure you have a reusable mask,” Mr McGowan said.

“The government has millions on hand should we need it.

“I just urge everyone in the community please go and buy a reusable mask just in case.”

Western Australia Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch explains new COVID-19 safety rules in WA.Credit:Peter de Kruijff

Australia’s national cabinet decided on Friday that anyone entering an airport in the country needed to wear a mask.

WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said health advice was still being sought if taxi and ride-share drivers also needed to wear a mask if picking up someone from the airport.

“At this stage that is not the advice I have received, certainly bus drivers and those that are taking people to a … quarantine hotel will be wearing those things,” Mr Blanch said.

“As far as general passengers going into self-isolation, that is something that I’ll need to get advice from the Chief Health Officer.”

A COVID-19 vaccine will start becoming available in Australia from February but Mr McGowan said it would not be mandatory that everyone in WA gets a jab.

“It may well be that at some point in the future that if you want to work in an aged care facility or you want to work in a quarantine facility or a hospital, you are required to be vaccinated,” he said.

“Those are the rules we will work out in the coming months.

“There will be uniform rules around the vaccine.”

Mr McGowan asked West Australians keep doing the right thing and following health advice regarding the virus.

“The West Australian community has been COVID-free for 272 days now; nearly nine months,” he said.

“I think we all thought the worst of COVID was behind us, but 2021 now looks a lot like 2020 right now.

“What we know now compared to this time last year is that the best approach is to eliminate the virus from our community.”

Most Viewed in National


Similar articles:

  1. Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown after UK COVID-19 variant case [https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2021/01/08/brisbane-to-enter-three-day-lockdown-after-uk-covid-19-variant-case.html]
  2. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman slams ageism in U.S. vaccine rollout [https://www.apdnews.com/e-business/1005646.html]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *