We all knew it was going to happen, but it was confirmed overnight that Western Australia has thrown up a hard border with NSW in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
From midnight Sunday, travellers from NSW will no longer be permitted to enter Western Australia without an exemption, per an announcement from Premier Mark McGowan.
Addressing the media yesterday, he said that while he regrets making this decision in the week leading up to Christmas, he is not willing to risk the spread of COVID in the community.
Per ABC News reports, he said:
“I know these changes are going to be hard to take for many people. I know it will throw Christmas and reunion plans into disarray if it hasn’t already. These are now extraordinary circumstances. I wish I didn’t have to be making this announcement but as Premier I have a responsibility for every Western Australian and I need to do what is right to keep our state safe and strong.”
McGowan said that he does not know how long the hard border will stay up, but that he hopes that it’s only for a short period, and he will wait for health advice to determine when things will open up.
He also told people to reconsider travel from Western Australia to NSW, highlighting the fact that the community has been COVID-free for 252 days and he wants to “keep it that way.”
“If you can avoid it, please don’t go,” he said.