WA announces hard border closure from Sunday

The McGowan Government will introduce a hard border closure for WA as the state records eight new positive cases of COVID-19.

The closure will come into force from 11:59pm on Sunday night with Premier Mark McGowan stating that “isolation is now our best defence.”

Western Australians would not be able to return after the cutoff.

Exemptions will be enabled for emergency services, freight and logistics, health, courts to maintain essential services.

FIFO workers will also be exempted but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

“You need to come home from WA and you need to come home now,” Mr McGowan said.

“The measures we are taking so far are starting to have an impact.”

“Our isolation is now our best defence, we need to use it to the best of our advantage.”

Mr McGowan said that was previously unthinkable was now a reality.

“If you had asked me a couple of months ago that we would be closing the WA border, I would have laughed,” he said.

“But, unfortunately, this is no laughing matter. This is serious. We are serious.”

He urged Western Australians in other states to come home now, as the arrangements of the closure were being finalised.

The Kimberley will also be subject to further movement restrictions from 11:59pm tonight.

Residents will not be able to leave their Local Government area, except for exempted reasons.

New cases of COVID-19 have taken WA’s total to 400.

Mr McGowan said a spike of positive coronavirus cases in the Kimberley region in WA was concerning.

Six new cases of COVID-19 were identified yesterday, five of which were health care workers in the area.

Indigenous communities are at a heightened risk of coronavirus.

“The Kimberley is closed to tourists and visitors and additional restrictions apply to specific communities,” said Mr McGowan.

“We know just how vulnerable the Kimberley and Aboriginal people are to viruses like coronavirus.”

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson reminded Western Australians that a new coronavirus hotline was available to provide information if needed.

The number was made available from yesterday enabling people to call the 13COVID number on 1326843.

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