WA will ban regional travel amid COVID-19

By | March 24, 2020

Long queues at the South Australian border are “unprecedented” and WA Premier Mark McGowan has urged people to be patient, promising restrictions will not be imposed on anyone already at the border.

“If you are a tourist wanting to come to WA, it’s too late, please don’t come,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Exemptions to the 14-day isolation rule will only be made on compassionate grounds and for essential workers.

Mr McGowan said interstate travel must be avoided, adding restrictions on travelling between WA’s nine regions would be announced soon.

He also warned beaches would be closed if people did not practice social distancing.

“I don’t want to be doing this, but if we have to protect people from themselves on our beaches, then we will.”

Mr McGowan said the priority was protecting the elderly and indigenous communities.

“This is pretty extreme but this is the process we are now going through,” he said.

“Stop your holidays, stay home, just do your essential stuff.”

Mr McGowan also said another stimulus package was coming.

Optus Stadium has become a coronavirus emergency response centre for police.

Meanwhile, Australian Border Force and WA Police officers remain at Fremantle Port ensuring no one disembarks from MSC Magnifica while the cruise ship refuels and reprovisions before departing for Dubai at 6pm.

Some crew were spotted wearing masks.

WA has 140 cases of COVID-19, including two people who are in a critical condition.

Six people have recovered and one man has died.

Workers on Inpex Australia’s Maersk Deliverer gas drilling rig off the Kimberley coast have been sent to the mainland for self-isolation as a precaution after one tested positive for coronavirus, falling ill on return to his home country last week.

A TransPerth bus driver, who had travelled overseas then returned to work, has also tested positive.

“If you’re sick don’t go to work … this is very regrettable,” Mr McGowan said.

Perth Zoo is closing for the first time in its 122-year history, but staff will remain on-site to care for the 1300 animals.

Australian Nursing Federation WA state secretary Mark Olsen has called for all elective surgery to stop, saying conserving personal protective equipment is critical.

Australian Associated Press

Western Advocate – Health