Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has flagged that the state’s key mining regions of the Pilbara and the Goldfields could face additional restrictions if their populations don’t reach the target rate of 80 per cent fully vaccinated by the proposed safe transition date.
According to the WA Government, the state will embark on its Safe Transition Plan from 12.01am on February 5, 2022, easing its hard border controls in line with a 90 per cent vaccination rate.
“Having achieved the 80 per cent vaccination rate, the locked-in transition date is based on the latest projections for when WA is at its target rate of 90 per cent double dose vaccination for eligible Western Australians aged 12 years and above,” the Government stated.
“Additional restrictions may be required in some at-risk regional communities where current projections suggest higher levels of vaccination may take longer to achieve – this currently includes the Pilbara (currently 46.1 per cent double dose rate), Kimberley (currently 60.8 per cent double dose rate), and Goldfields (currently 65 per cent double dose rate).
“These regions are the only regions that currently have a first dose rate below 80 per cent.”
According to the WA Government, if these regions fall short of an 80 per cent double dose vaccination rate by February 5, they will be subject to the following temporary enhanced public health and social measures:
- proof of vaccination will be required at pubs, bars, dine-in cafés and restaurants, bottle shops, indoor entertainment venues, gyms and fitness centres;
- masks will be required at all indoor public venues without a proof of vaccination entry requirement (such as supermarkets, roadhouses and takeaway services); and
- only double dose vaccinated travellers will be permitted into the region by air.
“These temporary additional health and social measures for impacted regions are to protect the very vulnerable communities until a higher level of vaccination is reached to minimise the risk,” the WA Government stated.
“These restrictions will be removed or stepped down once the required double dose vaccination rate is achieved in the region, subject to the specific health advice at the time.”
Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief executive officer Chris Rodwell said he welcomed the Government setting an opening date.
“This clarity is something CCIWA has worked towards on behalf of WA businesses and the economy since June 2020,” Rodwell said.
“The clarification of a date will begin to ease the uncertainty, supply chain delays, higher costs and chronic worker shortages experienced by WA businesses and the economy during this pandemic.”