Australia

Keep international border closed for ANOTHER YEAR

Four international travellers tested positive for COVID-19 last night as more than 2000 people took advantage of the lifting of hard borders to cross into WA, Mark McGowan said this morning.The Premier said there were few delays as families split apart for eight months by border restrictions were joyfully reunited.Three West Australians and one Queenslander…

Four international travellers tested positive for COVID-19 last night as more than 2000 people took advantage of the lifting of hard borders to cross into WA, Mark McGowan said this morning.

The Premier said there were few delays as families split apart for eight months by border restrictions were joyfully reunited.

Three West Australians and one Queenslander who tested positive for COVID after flying in from overseas were in hotel quarantine.

Mr McGowan said WA still had a “safe regime” despite relaxing its domestic border arrangements.

“What the test results overnight show is that international arrivals of Australians is clearly the biggest risk to the State,” Mr McGowan said.

“Making sure anyone returning from overseas is quarantined is the right way to go. It keeps us safe, it ensures we can test and protect our citizens.”

Under WA’s new controlled border arrangements, travellers from all states except Victoria and NSW can enter without having to self-isolate for 14 days.

By 4.30am, 2,087 people had arrived in WA from within Australia by road or by air, including 1392 on 14 domestic flights.

Nearly 450 people drove through the border checkpoint at Eucla and 246 came through Kununurra.

Another 10 domestic flights are expected to arrive today, but none from Victoria or NSW.

Mr McGowan said 449 international travellers had also arrived on four different flights, with around 1000 returning Australians flying in to Perth each week.

He repeated his call to keep the nation’s international borders shut for as long as another year, until a vaccine could be rolled out.

“The world appears to be on the cusp of a vaccine,” he said.

“Hopefully by the end of next year we can roll it out to all our citizens. Why don’t we wait until then before we start opening international borders.”

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