WA Premier won’t commit to fully opening state for Christmas

WA has rejected a national plan to open local borders by Christmas but there is still hope the state will join the rest of the country, provided Victoria and NSW reach 28 days without community transmission of COVID-19.

Victoria has gone two weeks without community spread of the virus, while NSW has reached seven days.

“They are an example to the world,” WA Premier Mark McGowan told reporters on Friday following the national cabinet meeting.

“At the 28-day mark of no community transmission in Victoria, we will consider removing the controlled border arrangement. We won’t consider it before then.

“We don’t believe in artificial deadlines … we’re going to be guided by health.

“Christmas is important but the health of West Australians is more important and setting up an artificial deadline for Christmas, I don’t think, is wise and so that’s why we didn’t agree to it.”

Mr McGowan said every other jurisdictions presented an extremely low risk, but there were still some concerns about Victoria and NSW for now.

“It’s not automatic that at 28 days … that we remove the controlled border for Victoria,” he said.

“We’ll take health advice closer to that day and make a decision based upon the circumstances at that time.”

More to come

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