WA prepares for influx as hard border comes down

From midnight tonight, one of the hardest borders in the country will begin easing restrictions, and allow visitors from most states and territories to enter without needing to quarantine.

From 12.01am on Saturday, visitors who arrive from so-called “very low risk” states – South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory – will be allowed to enter Western Australia quarantine-free providing they have filled out an online G2G pass. Anyone who arrives without filling in the pass will be put into a “slow queue” and forced to fill out documentation at the airport.

Residents from Victoria or NSW – along with anyone from a “low risk state” who has visited or met with someone from these states in the past 14 days – will need to declare that on their pass, or face “a very heavy fine or jail time”.

“If you’ve been in contact and you don’t want to come into a 14-day isolation or quarantine, then don’t come to WA,” WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said.

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WA’s Police Commissioner has a warning for anyone looking to enter the state. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

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More police have been deployed along the border and to airports, with airlines expecting around 4000 more passengers to cross in to the state each week.

Mr Dawson warned anyone trying to “game” the system will face the consequences.

“If people want to try and game the system, they’re committing a criminal offence and they’re liable to a very heavy fine or they’re liable to go to jail,” he said.

Western Australia has had one of the hardest borders in the country through the coronavirus pandemic, with Premier Mark McGowan and Australian Nursing Federation Secretary Mark Olson both concerned of a second wave in the state by opening borders too quickly.

“I say without fear of contradiction that if we had an outbreak similar to what happened in Victoria, we would be in a much worse situation than Victoria,” Mr Olson said.

On Friday, the state recorded three new coronavirus cases – two women and one man aged in their 30s and 40s who returned to Perth from overseas and are in hotel quarantine. The state’s positive COVID-19 case total now stands at 783, with the state recording 14 active cases.

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