WA Open Borders | 5 February 2022 Reopening Date | What this means for Travellers
Western Australia’s (WA’s) Premier, Mark McGowan yesterday announced WA state and international borders will reopen from 12.01 am on 5 February 2022.
Mr McGowan had vowed to announce a reopening date once WA reached an 80% vaccination rate milestone for people over 12. This milestone was achieved yesterday. He expects WA’s vaccination rate will reach 90% by 5 February 2021 but intends to reopen on this date whether or not this is reached.
It has been two years since WA closed its borders to international and interstate travellers without an approved Travel Exemption. The reopening date provides greater certainty to people needing to travel to WA – including families that have been separated over this time, overseas workers, and international students.
International Travellers to WA | What this means for you
From 5 February 2022, both fully-vaccinated and unvaccinated international travellers to WA will be required to:
- Return a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before departure; and
- Provide a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival to WA and on day 6.
For fully-vaccinated international arrivals to WA, quarantine will not be required and the number of fully vaccinated international arrivals into WA will no longer be capped for these travellers. We expect this may positively impact the prices and availability of flights.
For unvaccinated international arrivals to WA, 14 days of quarantine applies, and arrivals will be capped at 530 people per week.
International travellers should note that changes to Australia’s international border restrictions are governed at a Commonwealth level while State and Territory Governments have the discretion to set re-opening dates, quarantine, and testing requirements for their jurisdictions.
This means that although WA’s international border will reopen on 5 February 2022, the Commonwealth’s travel restrictions will determine which groups are eligible to enter Australia.
We expect it will be possible for fully-vaccinated skilled migrants and international students to travel to Australia without a Travel Exemption by this time. The Federal Government had delayed relaxing travel restrictions for these groups to 15 December 2021. Last Friday 10 December 2021, Prime Minister, Scott Morrison told 2GB radio he hopes Australia can reopen to visa holders by Christmas as more information about the new Omicron variant emerges.
Mr Morrison also announced in a media statement last Friday that all States and Territories are on track to enter Phase C of the National Plan to Transition Australia’s COVID-19 Response by the end of 2021. The National Cabinet will next meet in February 2022 to discuss health advice, which will inform the thresholds required for Australia to move to Phase D. This phase allows for open international borders and uncapped arrivals of non-vaccinated travellers.
Interstate Travellers to WA | What this means for you
From 5 February 2022, all interstate travellers to WA aged 12 years and over must be fully vaccinated (unless ineligible or medically exempt).
Interstate arrivals entering WA for 6 days or more must:
- Return a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure to WA, and
- Provide a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival.
Interstate arrivals entering WA for 5 days or less must:
- Return a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure – however, they will not need to have any COVID-19 tests on arrival into WA.
WA Travellers to Other States Who Need to Return to WA | What this means for you
From 5 February 2022, WA travellers returning from an interstate trip that is 6 days or more will need to:
- Return a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure before travelling back to WA,
- Provide a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival in WA.
WA travellers returning from an interstate trip within 5 days or less:
- Will not be required to have any COVID-19 tests before arriving back in WA, but they will need to take a PCR test within 48 hours of their arrival.
The above testing and quarantine requirements are based on current health advice and may change.
Restrictions will also be introduced within WA to manage the spread of COVID-19.
- Masks will be required for some ‘high-risk’ indoor settings.
- Proof of vaccination will be needed to attend large events, nightclubs, and the casino.
How WA plans to attract workers, students, and tourists when borders open | WA Open Borders
Mr McGowan’s ‘Reconnect WA’ plan is designed to boost the State’s international education, airline, and tourism initiatives, and the sourcing of skilled labour.
The $185 million plan includes:
- $65 million for re-establishing pre-COVID flight routes to Perth and securing new direct routes to Perth – for example, from Germany, India, China, and Vietnam.
- $10 million to establish more intrastate flights.
- $65 million to market WA to international students, international and interstate tourists, and tourism agents.
- Campaigns to attract workers to WA for crucial public sector workers such as health staff and secondary teachers, skilled workers, and backpackers for hospitality and agriculture.
- Government spending to attract sporting and business events to be hosted in WA.
Interstaff | Over 30 years of Australian visa experience | WA Open Borders
Should you wish to get advice on your visa options or business sponsorship options, we encourage you to call Interstaff’s Migration Agents on 08 9221 3388 (Perth) or 02 7200 2567 (Sydney) or 03 8319 0902 (Melbourne) or +61 8 9221 3388 (International) or get in touch here.
Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents
The Department of Home Affairs
Migration Institute of Australia
Prime Minister Media Statement
WA Premier – Media Statement
Department of Home Affairs