'Other premiers don't have our record': WA unmoved as states look to open borders

WA's COVID-19 measures are working but the price is no interstate travel, Mark McGowan says.
WA's COVID-19 measures are working but the price is no interstate travel, Mark McGowan says.

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan is maintaining his increasingly isolated hard border stance as the state recorded three new COVID-19 cases.

The trio, aged in their 30s and 40s, tested positive after returning from the UK, the Middle East and India respectively. One has been hospitalised and the other two are in hotel quarantine.

There are now six active cases being monitored.

WA has become an outlier in its refusal to even set a date for bringing down its hard borders.

All other states and territories have committed to reopening by Christmas with the use of defined hotspots to mitigate potential outbreaks.

South Australia has committed to lifting its border restrictions with NSW from midnight on Wednesday, removing the requirement to isolate for 14 days.

The decision came after two weeks of no community transmission in NSW involving cases with an unknown origin.

Mr McGowan remains adamant that WA's border won't reopen until NSW and Victoria go 28 days without community transmission.

"Keeping COVID out, having a hard border and getting our economy back up and functional within the borders is working," he said on Tuesday.

"The price is that you can't freely travel to the other states and I note other premiers are critical of that. But other premiers don't have our record."

Despite a steady stream of returning travellers testing positive, WA has not had any known community transmission since mid-April.

Mr McGowan has repeatedly pointed to serious outbreaks in Europe and the United States when asked to justify his hardline stance.

Within Australia, cases continue to fall.

Queensland recorded no new cases on Tuesday, while NSW had just two.

In Victoria there were 28 new cases with the state's 14-day rolling average remaining on a downward trajectory.

Queensland has added five more northern NSW councils to its border bubble while Tasmania is considering reopening to some states and the Northern Territory is offering interstate travellers incentives to visit the Top End.

From September 27, WA's cap on returned travellers will increase by 200 per week before adding an extra 300 from October 12.

"This will mean per capita, Western Australia is taking the largest number of returning Australians from overseas," Mr McGowan said.

"But we have to be able to manage it ... safely and securely to prevent what happened in Melbourne happening here in Perth."

Opposition Leader Liza Harvey said WA's chief health officer Andy Robertson should front the media to fully explain the health advice underpinning the continued border closures.

"These decisions are placing an enormous burden on the lives of West Australian families and severely impacting West Australian businesses," Ms Harvey said.

Australian Associated Press