The status of Western Australia’s open border with Victoria has been questioned following the discovery of COVID-19 cases in the Melbourne community

The three cases, which are Victoria’s first locally acquired infections in two months, have prompted the Washington government to warn that changes to the border agreements will be made if health counseling dictates

“As we have seen with reports of cases in the community in South Australia and New South Wales, the WA Chief Health Officer will now work with his colleagues in Victoria to closely monitor the situation and advise the WA government”said a government spokesman

“Western Australia has always taken a particularly cautious approach to keeping our state secure and strong and we continue to be guided by our expert health advice

“Currently, travel from Victoria to WA remains unchanged under the currently controlled interstate border regime However, if changes to our border controls are required due to the health recommendation, these will be made “

WA’s criteria for classifying states as “very low risk” that allow quarantine-free travel are no COVID-19 cases in the community for at least 28 days

If Victoria were changed to a “low risk” categorization, anyone coming to WA from that state would be forced to self-isolate for 14 days

WA previously put travel restrictions in place for both New South Wales and South Australia following COVID-19 outbreaks in those states in the past two months

Just hours after WA reopened in that state, a hard border with South Australia was reintroduced due to a COVID cluster in Adelaide, but non-quarantine travel resumed on Christmas Day.

WA is currently closed to New South Wales due to the Sydney outbreak and only travelers with exceptions are allowed to enter

On Tuesday, before the Victorian cases became known, incumbent Prime Minister Roger Cook said WA’s decision to reinstate a hard border with New South Wales had been confirmed by the continued spread of the virus in that state. p>

“You can safely see that our hard limit is an important element of our security,” said Cook

“The [hard border with New South Wales] protects Western Australians and allows us to monitor and carefully manage arrivals from New South Wales”

This service may contain material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN, and the BBC World Service that is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Victoria COVID cases, Covid cases Victoria, Covid Victoria, Vic Covid cases, Melbourne Covid cases, Melbourne Covid, Victoria Covid, Covid Melbourne, Vic Covid

World news – AU – WA’s open Victoria border at risk after COVID-19 transmission in Melbourne

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-30/wa-open-border-with-vic-at-risk-after-melbourne-covid-cases/13022364