9 Apr 2021

New Zealand travellers can go quarantine-free to Western Australia

8:17 pm on 9 April 2021

Western Australia is making major changes to its Covid-19 restrictions, including allowing New Zealanders to arrive quarantine-free from 19 April.

Western Australia state Premier Mark McGowan (C) speaks to media announcing that 72 homes have been destroyed by fires, in Perth on February 3, 2021. (Photo by Trevor Collens / AFP)

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan says New Zealand's status will changed to "very low risk". Photo: AFP

The state is also relaxing its interstate border rules to re-open to other states quicker following closures.

WA will open up its border to travellers from other states where there has been 14 days without a case of community transmitted coronavirus, down from 28 days.

The new 14-day benchmark will mean that, pending no further outbreaks, Queensland will be classed as a 'very low risk' state from Monday, 19 April.

Premier Mark McGowan said the hard border would continue to be used when needed.

"While these changes are very positive, Western Australians should not underestimate the virus and its ability to disrupt and destroy lives and livelihoods," he said.

"It was less than two weeks ago that Queensland went into a snap three-day lockdown following an outbreak, and while our border arrangements allow for safe travel it is also a fast and effective measure to stop the virus.

"That is why I will not hesitate to bring back hard borders should we need to protect Western Australians from Covid-19."

The WA government confirmed travellers from New Zealand will be allowed into Western Australia without having to quarantine from 19 April.

McGowan said New Zealand would be treated as another Australian jurisdiction and would be classed as "very low risk".

Perth Stadium allowed 100 percent capacity

The government also announced that from tomorrow, it will raise capacity limits for certain indoor and outdoor venues with fixed seating to 100 percent, including Perth Stadium.

General view Optus Stadium in Perth.

Perth Stadium is now allowed to be at 100 percent capacity for sports events. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Other venues to be allowed 100 percent capacity include auditoriums and amphitheatres, theatres, concert halls, cinemas, comedy lounges and performing arts centres.

But the 75 percent limit for restaurants, clubs and cafés with dedicated seating, and the two square metre rule for pubs, nightclubs, bars and other music events, will remain in place at this stage.

"However, in the context of continued absence of community transmission and the roll-out of the vaccine for vulnerable groups, the CHO (chief health officer) anticipates that the benefits of retaining the final physical distancing and mass gathering restrictions may well be reduced and could be removed," McGowan said.

"To that end, the CHO has recommended that the situation be reviewed in one month's time, with further advice to be provided."

Hundreds have vaccine appointments cancelled

WA's Chief Health Officer Andrew Robertson said 379 people who were due to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine had their appointments cancelled on Friday, after the change in health advice for people under 50.

"It is really to give them the opportunity to have an informed choice," Dr Robertson said.

"Some of them will elect to have the AstraZeneca vaccine, but we want to make sure that they are informed.

"We are not banning them from getting the vaccine. They should be making a risk assessment as to whether the benefits outweigh the risks."

So far, 64,767 Covid-19 vaccinations have been administered in WA, and 11,214 people have had two doses.

McGowan said people who have had their first dose of AstraZeneca without any side-effects can be given their second dose, including those under 50.

"It is important to remember the side-effect is extremely rare," he said.

"Our health experts have reinforced that the benefits of the vaccine for those aged 50 and over far outweigh the very rare complications that have been reported."


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