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WA warns ‘hard border’ may return

Western Australia is closing itself off from South Australia and might consider reintroducing its hard border for all jurisdictions.

Premier Mark McGowan said the strict measures for SA might seem harsh, but it was an extraordinary situation and the decision was made after receiving health advice.

He said he could not say how long the restrictions would be in place.

“I cannot rule out toughening our border controls further,” Mr McGowan told reporters on Monday.

“Bringing back the hard border altogether is under serious consideration, especially given the number of people from South Australia that have been travelling around the country in the past week.

“We will closely monitor the situation and, if we have to, the hard border will return for all states and territories … I won’t take any unnecessary risks.”

Mr McGowan said the chief health officer had determined SA had moved from a very low risk to a medium risk.

“South Australia may move to the high risk category very soon,” he said.

From 6pm WST on Monday, anyone who has been in SA in the past 14 days must meet strict exemption criteria to enter WA, mirroring rules that applied to people in Victoria during the height of its second wave.

The exemption list includes some politicians, military personnel and transport workers.

An exemption on compassionate grounds can also be sought, including West Australians who have recently travelled to SA.

“I always said that we would not hesitate to bring in tougher border controls if required,” Mr McGowan said.

“Unfortunately, the time for those tougher border controls came faster than anyone could have expected and we don’t have time to waste.”

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