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Western Australia Locks Out The Rest Of The Country Due To Omicron Threat

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Western Australia Locks Out The Rest Of The Country Due To Omicron Threat

Western Australia has locked out the rest of the country due to the growing threat of the Omicron wave of coronavirus.

Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have been recording tens of thousands of new cases each day for the past few weeks.

Other states and territories also haven't been immune to rising infections due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant and WA has pulled up its borders again.

The Northern Territory was the final straw in the West's eyes as Premier Mark McGowan declared the region an 'extreme risk' due to their new infection rate.

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Despite largely avoiding many cases since the pandemic began, the Top End notched more than 700 new cases on January 11.

Credit: Western Australian Government
Credit: Western Australian Government

Premier McGowan says it's in Western Australia's best interests to shut themselves off from the rest of the country to ensure there isn't a similar spike in infections.

"We have moved swiftly on Northern Territory, to reduce the risk of more Omicron cases in self-quarantine," the Premier said.

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"We know the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly around much of the country and unfortunately the Northern Territory is now too seeing an accelerating caseload in the community."

Every state and territory is now listed as an 'extreme risk' to WA and people from those regions won't be able to enter unless under 'the most exceptional circumstances'.

The state government explained how exemptions will be restricted to 'Commonwealth and State officials, Members of Parliament, Diplomats, and specialist or extraordinary circumstances determined by the State Emergency Coordinator or the Chief Health Officer'.

WA was planning on opening its border fully to all states and territories in Australia on February 5.

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State authorities are now pushing to get as many people vaccinated against the coronavirus as possible before that date.

From early next month, domestic and international arrivals won't have to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival as long as they've received two doses of an approved vaccine.

People from overseas will have to do a PCR test no more than 72 hours before their flight. They'll also have to do one on day two and six.

"Our controlled border remains a vital tool to protect Western Australia as we work to push our vaccination rates as high as possible towards February 5, including third doses and vaccinations for five- to 11-year-olds," Mr McGowan said.

Featured Image Credit: Mark McGowan/Instagram

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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