WA will Open Its Border from 5 February 2022 for Eligible Travelers
On 13 December 2021, the WA state government announced the WA border opening would start on 5 February 2022. The announcement is in line with the WA vaccine milestone for double dose vaccination for aged 12 and over, which has reached 80 per cent.
It is hoped the vaccination rate will reach 90 per cent by the set date.
Despite the opening of the WA border, some regulations and restrictions will remain in place to protect the community.
Find the details below.
Rules for travelers following WA Border Opening
There are some rules set for travelers with the WA border opening. The rules are applicable for both interstate and international travelers.
Travel and testing requirements for interstate travelers
Unless ineligible or medically exempt, all domestic arrivals aged 12 and older must have a double dose vaccination. There will be three categories of testing requirements for domestic arrivals:
- If you are travelling to WA or returning from other states to WA in six days or more, you must provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure and a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival in WA;
- Interstate visitors staying in WA for fewer than five days must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure but are not needed to have any testing upon arrival;
- Travelers who leave and return to WA in less than five days do not need to take a test before entering the state, but they must do a PCR test within 48 hours of returning.
Travel and testing requirements for international travelers
International travellers’ travel and testing requirements will also be in place to safely enable quarantine-free travel to WA. Double dose vaccinated international travelers will be required to:
- Within 72 hours of departure, return a negative PCR test result; and
- Within 48 hours of arriving in WA, and on day six, return a negative PCR test.
Double dose vaccinated international travelers will not be required to quarantine and are not subject to travel cap. However, unvaccinated international travelers must undergo a 14 days quarantine at a designated hotel or future quarantine facility.
Public health and social measures
At the point of transition, from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, 5 February 2022, interim baseline public health and social measures will be implemented.
You will be required to wear a mask in some high-risk indoor settings, including:
- On public transportation, taxis, or ride-sharing services;
- At airports and on flights; and
- Visitors to hospitals, residential aged care, disability care, or detention centres.
Proof of vaccination will be required for those aged 16 and older at the following locations:
- Venues or events with 1,000 or more patrons
- The Crown complex, and
- The four major stadia (Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium and HBF Park).
What does the WA border opening mean for Western Australians?
The announcement of the exact WA border opening date must be a relief for most Western Australians who have not met their family or loved ones for almost two years. The announcement of the exact date also aims to give certainty to businesses in WA.
However, at the same time, the WA border opening might bring concern for some people at high risk of getting the virus.
The WA government is confident that the decision is at the right time, and once the vaccination rate reaches 90 per cent, the WA state government can safely ease the border controls.
Stricter rules for regions with low vaccination rollout
The WA state government also updated that some regions in the state are still in low vaccination rates. Currently, three regions have a lower vaccination rate, including Pilbara with a 46.1 percent vaccination rate; Kimberley with a 60.8 percent vaccination rate; and Goldfields with a 65 percent vaccination rate.
The WA state government will implement enhanced public health measures if those regions do not reach at least 80 percent of the vaccination rate on 5 February 2022. Those measures will be:
- In pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, liquor shops, indoor entertainment venues, and gyms, proof of vaccination is required;
- Mandatory mask-wearing at other indoor venues (supermarkets and roadhouses);
- People aged 12 and over are not permitted to fly into the region unless they have proof of vaccination.
Do you still need a travel exemption?
Now, this question might arise in your concern. Will you still need a travel exemption if you travel to WA on 5 February 2022?
The answer is, it depends.
The WA state government emphasizes that all international travel to WA remains subject to the Federal Government’s biosecurity and border settings, including travel exemption.
Starting from 15 December 2022, some eligible holders of certain Australian visas can travel to Australia without an exemption. If you are an eligible holder of the listed Australian visas, you can travel to WA without exemption.
However, if your visa subclass is not mentioned in the list, you must still get a travel exemption to enter Australia.
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