Borders to open Thursday March 3

WA businesses have the certainty they need to properly plan their operations, investments and decisions after Premier Mark McGowan today announced Thursday, March 3 as the new date for the State reopening to the world.

The announcement means the resumption of quarantine-free interstate and overseas travel with vaccination and testing requirements. 

We now have:

  • certainty on border restrictions;
  • rules for close contacts, isolation and testing;
  • an end to the use of widespread lockdowns; and
  • increased financial support for businesses disrupted by Government COVID measures;

CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell said the border decision will provide huge relief to thousands of WA businesses seeking certainty on managing their operations, particularly those that rely on accessing markets elsewhere in our nation and the world.

“The announcement is a clear indication that the Government has positively responded to CCIWA’s calls for greater clarity for businesses,” he said.

“Since June 2020, CCIWA has sought to secure a clear roadmap for our reopening. The detail for that roadmap – whether it relates to the opening date, health restrictions, isolation, or testing – is now substantially in place.”

Rodwell welcomed the decision by the State Government to develop a package of financial support for businesses impacted through the transition phase.

“We stand ready to cooperate with the Government on the package design.

“It’s important it apply to all businesses suffering a decline in business activity through this phase and does not discriminate based on sector.

“The Government should also look to broaden the eligibility of its existing Industry Support Package, which applies to a limited range of businesses negatively impacted due to the delay in the February 5 border reopening.”

WA businesses have played a frontline role implementing the Government’s vaccine mandates, proof of vaccination, maintaining health records and supporting the vaccination drive, assured that this was the best way to the community and economy, and to get beyond these emergency settings.

New requirements

Ahead of the reopening, Level 1 COVID restrictions in Perth, Peel, South-West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Pilbara will begin from 6:00am Monday, February 21, including: 

  • Mask rules for all indoor public settings State-wide; 
  • 2 sqm rule introduced for hospitality, fitness venues, entertainment venues, cultural venues, places of worship, hairdressers and beauty services; 
  • Home gatherings limited to 30 people, private outdoor gatherings limited to 200 people; 
  • 75 per cent capacity for seated entertainment venues (forward facing), such as theatres and cinemas; 
  • 75 per cent capacity for Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium (main area) and HBF Park; 
  • 2sqm rule at Perth Crown Complex and seated service only on the casino gaming floor; 
  • 500-person capacity limit at nightclubs, in addition to the 2sqm rule; 
  • visitors to aged care/disability care facilities and hospitals limited to four per patient/resident per day; 
  • COVID Event Checklists required for events with more than 500 patrons and less than 1000 patrons and COVID Event Plans required for large events with 1000 patrons and above; 
  • COVID Safety Plans to be expanded to early childhood education and childcare services, hairdressers and barbers, and encouraged for all workplaces; and 
  • workplaces should implement COVID-19 safe settings to manage workforce impacts. 

Full details of the restrictions can be found here, and it’s noted that further restrictions may be enacted if needed. 

However, bottle shops have been removed from proof of vaccination requirements, effective today, ahead of a review of other proof of vaccination and contact registration measures.

Interstate arrivals

CCIWA notes the decision to allow into WA only triple-dosed interstate travellers who have a G2G pass and who must undertake a rapid antigen test (RAT) within 12 hours of their arrival in the State.

We recommend this requirement is reviewed as we transition through the next phase as it continues to create a barrier for tourists and others to visit  WA.

For general employee advice and guidance, contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or email [email protected].

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