Western Australia (WA) is continuing to ease its regional travel restrictions through a phased initiative called the “Western Australia roadmap.”
Starting Friday, May 29, all regional travel bans will be lifted except for the Kimberly region as well as areas that are “bound by the Commonwealth’s designated biosecurity determination.” There are also 274 isolated Aboriginal communities where this new policy does not apply.
“Travel restrictions to remote Aboriginal communities are in place to protect the health and wellbeing of residents,” the Government of Western Australia’s website explains.
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The further easing of restrictions comes one week after Phase 2, which involved internal borders within Western Australia being reduced from 13 to four.
This seven-day period saw no more outbreaks of the coronavirus, which left Chief Health Officer Dr. Andrew Robertson satisfied with progressing to lift more restrictions.
“This pandemic is having a significant impact on our local economy, that’s why we have moved to ease restrictions as soon as it has been safe to do so,” Premier Mark McGowan said in a statement.
The Police Commissioner of Western Australia and the state government are continuing to collaborate with the Federal Government to eliminate the assigned biosecurity areas from Friday, June 5.
“Existing Directions under the State Government’s Emergency Management Act that restrict entry into these communities will remain in place pending further consultation,” the site explains.
Governmental and health authorities will continue to monitor Phase 2 procedures over the next few days before entering Phase 3, which will be implemented “as soon as possible.”
“Our regional travel restrictions have been an important measure in helping limit the spread of COVID-19 – it’s worked and resulted in low numbers of cases in regional WA,” Health Minister Roger Cook said in a statement.
“We expect this to be finalized shortly with the Federal Government, and thank everyone in those areas, including Broome, for their co-operation. We hope this will provide certainty for those residents and businesses going forward.”
Australia’s travel industry has suffered significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic, and with the lifting of these measures, Premier McGowan encourages residents to explore Western Australia and support local businesses.
“I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding, and I urge everyone who can travel to get out there, wander around WA and support local businesses,” McGowan stated. “Our local businesses and tourism operators need our support the most now.”