The reopening of the WA border has unfortunately been pushed back, just weeks from its scheduled date.

The state’s border was set to reopen on February 5th but WA Premier Mark McGowan confirmed that isn’t happening anymore. “It would be reckless and irresponsible to open up now. I can’t do it,” he said.

McGowan explaining that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 meant it wasn’t safe to reopen, with the lack of availability of vaccine boosters – only 25% of the state currently have three doses – also blamed.

WA has only recorded one death so far from COVID, and that’s something McGowan doesn’t want to see increase. “NSW is sadly recording 25 Covid deaths a day,” he pointed out. “Let’s just take a deep breath, acknowledge that it’s very difficult over there, and we’ve got to do our best to avoid that occurring here.”

No new later date has yet been set but McGowan stated the situation will be discussed over the next month. He said the hard border would remain until February 5th while revealing that travel exemption rules would at least be relaxed from that date.

“So from 12:01am on Saturday, February 5th, the hard border will stay, with new settings that will have a focus on both safety and compassion,” he explained.

All travellers to the state will have to self-isolate for 14 days, be triple jabbed, and also undergo a strict testing regime. International visitors will have to complete seven days of hotel quarantine and seven days of home quarantine.

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Although many were looking forward to February 5th, Chief Health Officer Dr. Andy Robertson insisted that reopening on that date would lead to hundreds of community COVID cases within just a couple of days.

“I know this decision will be unpopular with many people as holiday plans and some family gatherings will have been disrupted,” he said. “For that, I’m sorry. I understand exactly what this means for many people who were hoping to reunite without any restrictions.”

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Check out Premier Mark McGowan’s full press conference:

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