Travellers crossing the Nullarbor from South Australia are being told to return home if they’re not prepared to quarantine for two weeks.
Less than 48 hours after reopening its borders, Western Australia has reimposed restrictions for people entering from SA after the state detected a cluster of locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases which has grown to 17.
Anyone arriving from SA at Perth Airport will be tested on arrival and directed to self-quarantine for 14 days at a suitable premise.
They will also be required to get a test on day 11.
People driving across the Nullarbor will be ordered to self-quarantine and get tested on day two and day 11 of the 14-day period.
WA authorities are also contacting anyone who arrived from SA over the weekend to instruct them to get a COVID test and self-quarantine until they have the results.
Health Minister Roger Cook says the government is monitoring the situation closely and will strengthen measures if required.
“This is obviously a very serious outbreak,” he told Perth radio 6PR on Monday.
“The premier and I have always said in terms of moving to a controlled border that we will put the hard border back on if that’s what it takes to protect Western Australians.
“We are certainly moving swiftly in relation to this South Australian outbreak because we don’t want that situation to come to WA.”
The cluster in SA is believed to have originated with a hotel quarantine worker infecting members of their family.
WA’s hotel quarantine staff are currently subject to voluntary weekly COVID-19 testing.
“We’re examining that at the moment to see if that is an adequate regime,” Mr Cook said.
“Obviously some have taken advantage but perhaps we haven’t had the uptake that we need to.”
The outbreak in SA came less than 48 hours after WA’s borders were finally reopened to all states and territories.
Along with SA, people from NSW and Victoria remain subject to a 14-day isolation period but other interstate arrivals are not required to quarantine.
Police reported few delays on Saturday as 2287 people crossed into WA by air and road.
Another 10 domestic flights with 1000 passengers were expected to arrive in the state on Sunday.