WA’s border to open on March 3 but only for triple jabbed

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has announced the state’s borders will reopen on March 3 after conceding his battle to keep Omicron out is no longer viable.

WA will open its border for both domestic and overseas visitors under the condition they are triple vaccinated. Visitors will also have to have a registered G2G Pass and undertake a Rapid Antigen Test upon arrival within 12 hours and report any positive result. The testing arrangements are interim and will be in place for a minimum of two weeks and then be subject to ongoing review.

Unvaccinated returning Australians will be required to complete hotel quarantine.

The state has also introduced further restrictions following a surge in case numbers in addition to the existing indoor mask and proof of vaccination requirements.

Hospitality and entertainment venues will be subject to the two square metre rule, while seated entertainment venues and stadiums including Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium (main area) and HBF Park will be capped at 75 per cent capacity.

COVID Event Checklists are now required for events with more than 500 patrons and less than 1,000 patrons and COVID Event Plans required for large events with 1,000 patrons and above.

The Tourism Council WA said the announcement brings certainty to the tourism industry.

“The announcement means businesses can now win back visitors and retain bookings for events, flights, and tourists,” said Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall.

But Hall said the 2sqm rule would have a heavy impact on events, tourism, and hospitality businesses.

“Events have borne the brunt of border closures and restrictions. Caps on events need to be lifted as soon as possible,” he said.

“The Eastern States are now removing business restrictions and travel testing requirements.

“WA cannot afford to be more restricted than the East Coast for longer than necessary, or we will lose events, students, workers, and tourists to states with less severe restrictions.”