Western Australia will tighten its hard border as Victoria’s cases of coronavirus infections continue to grow rapidly.
The state’s premier Mark McGowan announced on Thursday that from midnight tonight, anyone who has visited Victoria in the past two weeks is not allowed into WA unless provided with a strict exemption.
“No one will be allowed, if they have been in Victoria, in the previous 14 days. Unless they fall into the new even tighter list of exemptions,” Mr McGowan said.
Health Minister Roger Cook says the number of exemptions would be significantly reduced under the new restrictions beginning midnight on Thursday.
Only specific workers, such as those in the transport and freight industry, and people with compassionate grounds would be permitted to cross the border.
"Everyone permitted to enter will be served with notice if they have been in Victoria within the last 14 days and will need to take a COVID test on day 11 while in WA or when symptoms develop," Mr Cook said.
"Police will continue to perform checks on people in self-quarantine."
WA police will continue to perform quarantine checks and can fine wrongdoers $1000.
WA is also extending its state of emergency for another 14 days, until July 23.
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the date was likely to be extended further, given the situation in other parts of the country.
"We are not immune from this virus," he said.
"It's for the public safety of everyone."
There were three new coronavirus cases reported on Thursday, all returning overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.
The state's total has reached 627 with 16 cases still active. Western Australia has had no recorded community transmission since April 12.
Mr Cook hit back at comments by the prime minister on Wednesday suggesting the state was not pulling its weight in relation to repatriating Australians.
"WA has around about 10 per cent of the population and we're receiving upwards of that number.
"If you look at SA; they have seven per cent of the population and have received almost one per cent of arrivals while Queensland has 20 per cent of the population and have received only 14 per cent of arrivals.
"We ask for other states to do their fair share and for the Commonwealth to assist us, rather than provide national commentary."
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