WA on its own as it bans visitors from anywhere in Australia

Premier Mark McGowan has closed WA off from the rest of Australia over fears of the Omicron variant.

Western Australia has barred visitors from anywhere in Australia over fears of the Omicron variant.

Premier Mark McGowan announced the Northern Territory was now categorised as an “extreme risk” zone joining all the other states and territories on the list.

“We have moved swiftly on Northern Territory, to reduce the risk of more Omicron cases in self-quarantine,” McGowan said.

“We know the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly around much of the country and unfortunately the Northern Territory is now too seeing an accelerating caseload in the community.”

McGowan’s latest move is aimed at buying some time to push vaccination rates as high as possible across the entire population including children.

The Omicron variant is causing headaches for leaders across Australia and has cast a shadow of doubt over WA’s plans to open its border to all states and territories on February 5 allowing fully vaccinated visitors to enter without needing to quarantine.

The state’s tourism and events sector are counting on the commitment to the border opening next month.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said any change to the opening date would be a blow to the sector.

“People need confidence in that date,” he said. “We are recommending businesses take bookings for the fifth, and we’re confident the state government is committed to their own planned opening date.”

Meanwhile West Australians will need to show proof of vaccination to attend large events over the summer.

The certificates can be downloaded via the ServiceWA app which was launched on January 11.

Punters going licensed venues with a capacity of more than 500 people already need to show their vaccination history upon entry.