Eastern states residents will be permitted to visit family living in WA – provided they are vaccinated and happy to spend 14 days in isolation – under expanded exemption criteria published on Wednesday afternoon.
The new directions, which come into effect on February 5, reveal West Australians will also be permitted to return home if they head east to visit family in other states.
The updated rules were flagged by Premier Mark McGowan last Thursday when he announced an indefinite delay to the resumption of quarantine-free travel but the full details have now been released.
NEW TRAVEL EXEMPTIONS
The new exemptions are headlined by a big expansion of travel on compassionate grounds with that category now open to:
- Anyone who has lived in WA in the past two years and is returning to WA to “permanently reside”. This does not include eastern states-based FIFO workers.
- Anyone with “direct legitimate family connections” in WA
- Re-entry to WA for any West Australian who travels to visit “direct family connections” in other Australian jurisdictions
- Anyone receiving urgent and essential medical treatment in WA
- Anyone visiting a “direct lineal relative” who is terminally ill or receiving palliative care, or to attend their funeral
- Anyone entering WA from interstate – but not overseas – to attend primary school, secondary school, university or TAFE
- West Australians studying in other States and staying in an “education residential facility” – such as a hostel or boarding house – that is closed for school holidays.
- Anyone else whose entry to WA is personally approved by the Chief Health Officer or State Emergency Coordinator
Travel exemptions will also remain available to State and Commonwealth government officials, diplomats, military personnel and diplomats.
People entering WA to provide a specialist skill or to work as an emergency services or health care worker will also be permitted entry.
Police Minister Paul Papalia on Wednesday announced the 22,000 existing G2G applications would be automatically re-assessed under the expanded criteria from February 1, when it is expected the new system would be “live”.
Mr Papalia said anyone making a new G2G application needed to wait for February 1 to submit their request – and travel will not be permitted until February 5.
Approved interstate travelers will only be granted entry into WA if they are triple vaccinated (or double vaccinated if not yet eligible), returned a negative rapid antigen test 24 hours prior to departure and agree to complete 14 days of self-quarantine at a “suitable premises ”.
Anyone else living at that premises will also be required to isolate for 14 days.
Arrivals must also complete a PCR test within 48 hours of getting into WA and on day 12 of their self-quarantine. Anyone else living at the same residence where a person is isolating must also complete a day 12 PCR test.
People in self-quarantine are also required to use the G2G Now mobile phone app, which allows WA Police to monitor their location in real-time.