Man granted WA entry to visit dying mum

·2-min read

A man who pleaded with the West Australian premier for permission to visit his dying mother has been granted a travel exemption.

Ethan Carter drew national media attention after speaking of his desperate wish to travel to WA, having arrived in Sydney from Los Angeles.

Along with Victoria and the ACT, WA has placed NSW under "extreme risk" border restrictions which deny entry to most travellers.

Mr Carter, who had spent the past two years overseas, told reporters in Sydney he was "really scared and emotional" about his mother's health.

"The doctor said that she hasn't got long ... she's been in permanent care for a few years and it's been so long since I've seen her," he said on Monday.

"I love her heaps and I just want to get back there."

Police Commissioner and State Emergency Coordinator Chris Dawson on Monday night granted Mr Carter permission to enter WA.

"Mr Carter will be subject to 14 days hotel quarantine in Western Australia and COVID-19 testing," WA Police said in a statement.

"As per all compassionate care cases, any visitation to his mother will be closely managed in line with public health advice and practices."

While Victoria and NSW have scrapped quarantine for vaccinated travellers, the pathway to return to WA is considerably more narrow given its continued border restrictions.

Any decision on reopening WA's borders will be delayed until after the state has reached 80 per cent full vaccination, a benchmark expected to be reached by early-December.

Premier Mark McGowan has insisted WA is well-placed to make a "soft landing" out of the pandemic, reaching high levels of vaccination whilst avoiding the need to reimpose restrictions such as capacity limits and mask-wearing within the state.

As of Monday, WA had zero active COVID-19 cases compared to almost 22,000 in Victoria.

"We have a virtually unique opportunity to get to very high levels of vaccination before such time as we have COVID come in," Mr McGowan said.

"Really, it's a matter of a few months. We're heading towards the end of this, we're just going to remain safe whilst we get there."

The premier has outlined mandatory vaccination requirements for most of the state's workforce, including a January 31 deadline which would coincide with the end of the school holidays and potential reopening of borders.

WA's cap on returned overseas travellers will double to 530 once it reaches 70 per cent full vaccination.

Opposition health spokeswoman Libby Mettam said another "horror month" of ambulance ramping figures showed WA's health system was not prepared for a possible COVID outbreak.

"It is clear lagging vaccination rates and understaffing is holding this government back from even announcing a roadmap," she said.

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