Western Australia will FINALLY open its borders to NSW and Victoria in time for Christmas – after locking out millions of travellers for eight months
- Western Australia set to announce Tuesday it is re-opening to NSW and Victoria
- Travellers from rest of country allowed to enter quarantine-free two weeks ago
- But WA expected to extend privilege to Australia’s two most populated states
- Premier Mark McGowan believed though to be holding off on opening to SA
Premier Mark McGowan is expected to further relax his state’s tough border restrictions on Tuesday and reveal when travellers from Australia’s two most populated states can enter WA.
It will mark the first time millions of residents from the two states will be able to visit Western Australia without quarantining since the state’s borders were shut almost eight months ago on April 5.
Apart from South Australia, travellers from the rest of the country have been allowed to enter the western state without the need for quarantine since November 14.
But Victoria has now gone 31 days without a coronavirus case following its horror second wave and NSW will on Saturday have gone 28 days without a case involving community transmission.
Masked pedestrians walk along a busy Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne on Sunday. Western Australia is set to announce it will allow quarantine-free travel from NSW and Victoria before Christmas
Mr McGowan is expected to announce a date before Christmas when NSW and Victorian travellers can enter the state.
But it is believed he will keep WA’s border with South Australia closed as authorities monitor the growth of an outbreak of cases in Adelaide, The West Australian reported.
‘The Chief Health Officer still has concerns about South Australia,’ Mr McGowan said on Monday, while calling Victoria’s suppression of the virus ‘remarkable’.
‘Our record has now been perfect when it comes to no community spread for the last eight months and we want to keep it that way.
Passengers from Adelaide have their G2G passes checked by Western Australian Police at Perth Airport on November 14.
‘We’re one of the only places in the entire world that can say that. Very few countries in the entire world can say they’ve gone eight months without a single community case.’
Queensland will from Tuesday welcome back Sydneysiders for the first time in almost four months.
The Sunshine State will reopen its borders to Victorians on the same day.
South Australia will also reopen to Victorians, three months after they were slammed shut in the wake of a horror second wave of the virus in Melbourne.
Premier Mark McGowan pictured addressing the media on November 21. He is believed to be holding off on opening WA’s border to South Australia as the state battles a COVID-19 outbreak
NSW became the first state or territory to reopen all its domestic borders last week.
Residents of the state from Tuesday can enjoy more freedom as a string of restrictions imposed on their daily lives are lifted.
The cap on public outdoor gatherings will be increased from 30 to 50 on December 1.
Restaurants and bars will be able to accommodate more patrons from Tuesday. Pictured are a group of friends enjoying a drink at Sydney’s Coogee Bay Hotel on Melbourne Cup Day
Residents can also have large gatherings of up to 30 in their homes or 50 for outdoors, including private gardens.
Capacity at restaurants, bars and cafes will also be increased, where venues with up to 200 square metres of floor space can apply the 2-square-metre rule indoors.
Ticketed outdoor events such as Christmas carols have the green light to go ahead with attendances of up to 3,000.
One person per two square metres will apply at events with allocated seating, while a four-square-metre rule will apply to those sitting on picnic rugs.
Queensland will finally reopen its borders to Sydneysiders and Victorians. Pictured is motorist driving through a border control checkpoint at Coolangatta near the Queensland/NSW border
Up to 300 will also be allowed at funerals to bring them in line with the capacity at weddings and corporate functions.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged residents not to become complacent.
‘Given we have gone a certain number of days without community transmission it does reduce our concern in that regard,’ she said on Monday.
‘[But] my strong message to the people of New South Wales is please let us not let our guard down. We have come too far to let complacency get the better of us.’