WA brings back hard border for Queensland

·2-min read

Queenslanders will be locked out of Western Australia indefinitely after the McGowan government moved to reintroduce a hard border.

From 1201am local time on Tuesday, travellers from Queensland will be prevented from entering WA unless they have an exemption.

The hardline measure also applies to anyone from other states who has been in Queensland since March 27.

Greater Brisbane has been ordered into a three-day lockdown after a coronavirus cluster grew to seven cases with evidence of "significant community transmission".

WA had already ordered all recent arrivals from Queensland to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days.

The exemption criteria include senior government officials, active military personnel, federal MPs, transport, freight and logistics workers and individuals approved on compassionate grounds.

Premier Mark McGowan says the decision to reclassify Queensland from low to medium risk is regrettable but necessary.

"No doubt it will cause some heartache and some difficulty for people wanting to go to Queensland or wanting to come here," he told reporters on Monday.

"They might have thought it was all over but frankly, it's not. We have to keep a very vigilant and very precautionary and very cautious approach to the importation of the virus into Western Australia."

Mr McGowan said recent arrivals from Queensland, including those arriving before midnight on Monday, were free to depart WA.

He predicted the lockdown in Brisbane would be extended beyond three days.

"Almost inevitably, if you go into a lockdown three days isn't enough," he said.

"The experience elsewhere is that you have to go longer."

Mr McGowan gave no indication of when the border might come down.

WA has previously applied a 28-day threshold requiring states to go that period with no community transmission before restrictions are eased.

The premier said there were no plans to change the time period, despite having previously flagged a potential revision.

He added that hard borders were likely to remain an option for his government until there were "mass vaccinations".

Anyone who arrived from Queensland between March 20 and 26 will be contacted by police using the G2G pass system and advised of the latest exposure sites in Queensland and Byron Bay.

People who have attended those sites must also get tested and self-isolate.

But quarantine is currently not required for anyone who has come into contact with recent arrivals from Queensland.

WA recorded three new cases overnight, all in hotel quarantine.