The WA State Government has announced today that the Kimberley Borders will be open to Perth from June 5.
Of all the current restrictions, we know that the limitations on travel throughout regional WA and the boundaries between regions have been particularly difficult for many regional communities.
Putting up those boundaries was an important step to protect our regions – including many vulnerable Aboriginal communities and areas with limited access to healthcare.
The boundaries meant that potential spread of the pandemic was slowed and contained.
As the situation has played out, we have successfully avoided significant community outbreaks, but this was a vital precaution for our State, and for the health of regional Western Australians in particular.
We are currently working hard to progress towards Phase Three of easing restrictions, and we will have more to say on that very soon.
But today we can announce a change to take effect ahead of the WA Day long weekend, in line with expert health advice from WA’s Chief Health Officer.
This Friday, 29 May, all regions of Western Australia will be reopened except for those under Commonwealth Biosecurity Area restrictions.
That means that travel will be permitted between the Pilbara, Gascoyne, North-West, Goldfields-Esperance, Wheatbelt, Great Southern, South West, Peel and Perth.
As the Kimberley and other Biosecurity Areas are currently subject to a different set of restrictions, there is a separate process for reopening them.
The WA Police Commissioner and the State Government are working with the Federal Government to remove the Biosecurity Areas from Friday, June 5 − around two weeks earlier than the anticipated deadline set by the Federal Government.
This means until then, people will need an exemption to enter the Kimberley region, parts of the East Pilbara and the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.
Following 5 June, travel to those areas will also be reopened – however restrictions on travel to remote Aboriginal communities will remain in place pending further consultation.
I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.
These changes will help support our regional towns and local businesses, as well as allowing Western Australians to reconnect with their friends and family in regional WA.
I urge everyone who can travel to do their bit, get out there, wander around our State and support local businesses.
We should be proud that our efforts in stopping this pandemic have meant that we’re able to take action to remove these restrictions in WA.
But I would again reiterate that these changes are only possible at this time because of our hard border with the eastern states.
As we move forward, we will continue to act in line with the expert health advice of the WA Chief Health Officer and our local experts.
In line with that advice, Western Australia’s hard border with the rest of the country will remain in place, and will likely be the final restriction lifted.
Source: WA State Govt