Almost all WA regional travel borders to open ahead of long weekend

Photo: Justin Rake.
Photo: Justin Rake.

Western Australia's remaining regional travel boundaries will be reduced further from Friday, as part of the state government's easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

From 11.59pm on May 28, travel will be allowed throughout the state with the exception of the Kimberley and all Commonwealth biosecurity zones.

Travel to those communities remains prohibited until Friday, June 5 when restrictions are set to be lifted two weeks earlier than the federal government's anticipated deadline.

Premier Mark McGowan made the announcement at a press conference on Monday, just seven days after phase two easing of restrictions saw WA's borders drop from 13 to four.

It comes after four new cases were confirmed in WA on Monday - a family of four Victorians who flew into Perth from Doha on May 17 and have been quarantining in a Perth hotel since then.

The new cases bring the total number in WA to 564, with six active cases now in WA.

Mr McGowan said the state's success in curbing the spread of COVID-19 had been "world-leading".

"I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding, and I urge everyone who can travel to get out there, wander around WA and support local businesses," he said.

"This pandemic is having a significant impact on our local economy 0 that's why we have moved to ease restrictions as soon as it has been safe to do so.

"If we continue to record low case numbers, I look forward to finalising phase three of the WA roadmap and significantly ease restrictions further across our state.

"Based on health advice, Western Australia's hard border with the rest of the country will remain in place, and will likely be the final restriction lifted."

Previously on this issue:

The decision to further ease travel restrictions was based on latest health advice from Chief Health Officer Dr Andrew Robertson.

Health Minister Roger Cook said Dr Robertson was satisfied that after successfully implementing phase two, boundaries could be reduced for the upcoming WA Day long weekend.

"Our regional travel restrictions have been an important measure in helping limit the spread of COVID-19 - it's worked and resulted in low numbers of cases in regional WA," he said.

"We need a little more time before the Commonwealth biosecurity zones can be lifted, as COVID-19 poses a greater health risk to residents of remote Aboriginal communities."

Until June 5, people will need an exemption to enter the Kimberley region, parts of the East Pilbara and the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku, and existing directions restricting entry into remote communities will remain in place.

Consultation is expected to continue with those remote communities to ensure they are provided with ongoing support after June 5.

Phase two will continued to be monitored over the coming days before other restrictions are eased in phase three, which will be introduced as soon as possible.