COVID-19 coronavirus: Controlled border frequently asked questions

Guidance
Find answers to your questions about the WA controlled border.

Last updated: 21 June 2021 at 1.26pm

Public Health advice has been issued for arrivals from Queensland and New South Wales since Saturday, 19 June 2021.

 

Controlled border arrangement

What is the controlled border arrangement?

The controlled border arrangement allows for safe travel into WA from interstate and New Zealand.

Under this arrangement, Australian states and territories and New Zealand are categorised as either ‘very low risk’, ‘low risk’ or ‘medium risk’ based on the latest public health advice. These categories determine if travellers can enter WA and their conditions of entry.

Each risk category is outlined in more detail on the Controlled border page

All travellers, regardless of where they are travelling from, must complete a G2G PASS before travelling.

What are the current risk categories for each jurisdiction?

Current risk categories are outlined on the Controlled border page.

What defines a community case?

The Chief Health Officer has defined a community case as being from either an unknown source or where the infected contacts were not in quarantine.

Are border restrictions or arrangements subject to change?

Western Australia is currently under a State of Emergency Declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chief Health Officer continues to closely monitor community transmission in other jurisdictions and advise whether they need to be reclassified under the controlled border arrangement.

The ‘medium risk’ category in the controlled border arrangement does not allow travellers to enter WA from a ‘medium risk’ jurisdiction without an exemption. Strict conditions of entry apply to anyone who is exempt, including 14 days of self-quarantine and COVID-19 testing.

Under the current requirements, exempt travellers include:

  • certain senior Government officials
  • certain active military personnel
  • a member of the Commonwealth Parliament
  • a person carrying out functions under a law of the Commonwealth
  • a person responsible for transport freight or logistics
  • anyone who has been approved by the State Emergency Coordinator or an authorised officer*
    *this category includes compassionate reasons and specified arrangements, including Western Australians who may have travelled to the medium-risk jurisdiction and need to return to WA. These people will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and required to complete 14 days of self-quarantine and COVID-19 testing.

Travellers who fall under any of these categories must apply for an exemption to enter WA through G2G PASS.

What happens if someone is caught lying on their declaration form?

Failure to follow lawful directions under the Emergency Management Act 2005, including those which implement the controlled border arrangements, may be enforceable by law. Penalties range from a $1,000 infringement to up to $50,000 for individuals.

Information for WA residents

Does this mean I can travel interstate for a holiday?

Border arrangements are constantly reviewed, based on the health situation in each jurisdiction, and advice can change rapidly.

Western Australians can travel interstate for a holiday, depending on the border restrictions of the state or territory they are travelling to.

People travelling interstate should have contingency plans in the case that border arrangements change when they are travelling.

What happens if I book a ticket to fly interstate and the border arrangement changes before I fly? Will I get a refund or travel credit for my flights and accommodation?

You will need to check with your airline and accommodation provider if they will provide a refund or travel credit.

What happens if I am on holiday interstate and the border closes? Will I be able to re-enter WA?

WA remains in a State of Emergency due to the global pandemic and therefore the situation has potential to change rapidly. Western Australians should be prepared for this.

In the event that it becomes necessary to re-establish more restrictive border arrangements, people travelling interstate should have contingency plans for self-quarantine should border changes occur while they are travelling.

What happens if there’s an outbreak in WA?

If there is a COVID-19 outbreak in Western Australia, the WA Government has outbreak management plans in place to respond quickly and intervene early.

Planning is regularly reviewed and updated based on learnings from WA’s experiences and those of other jurisdictions both within Australia and overseas.

Information for interstate and New Zealand travellers

What if I do not register to enter WA? Will I be refused entry?

If you are planning to travel to WA, you must complete a G2G PASS before travelling and demonstrate you have done this when you arrive in WA.

If you do not complete your G2G PASS in advance, you will need to do so on arrival. This could result in a long delay.

If you are travelling to WA from a medium risk jurisdiction without an approved G2G PASS, you will be placed in hotel quarantine at your own expense until arrangements can be made for you to depart WA.

I’ll be travelling into WA in my caravan. What do I have to do at the WA border?

You should register your travel via a G2G Pass and complete the necessary declarations the same as travellers arriving by air. This registration will require you to declare which jurisdictions you have been in over the previous 14 days.

You will be met at the WA border checkpoint to ensure your travel is registered. You will also be subject to a health screening.

If you have spent time in the previous 14 days in a low risk jurisdiction, you will also be directed to self-quarantine and be tested for COVID-19 on Day 11 (if you’re still in WA).

What happens if there’s an outbreak in my jurisdiction before I travel to WA?

The Chief Health Officer continues to closely monitor community transmission in other jurisdictions and advises the WA Government if any changes to WA’s border are required to keep Western Australians protected.

If the jurisdiction you are travelling from is reclassified, your conditions of entry to WA will change. You will be advised of any changes through SMS messaging and email, through the contact details you provided in your G2G PASS application. 

If the jurisdiction you are travelling from is changed to a ‘medium risk’ rating (or higher), you will not be permitted to enter WA without an exemption. 

Travel from New Zealand to Western Australia

What is the travel arrangement with New Zealand?

New Zealand is considered part of WA’s controlled border arrangement.

Travellers from New Zealand are permitted to enter WA, subject to strict conditions. These conditions are based on public health advice.

The travel arrangements between Australia and New Zealand are managed by the Australian Government. Please see the Department of Home Affairs website for more information.

Does this mean people travelling directly from New Zealand can enter WA without quarantining?

Quarantine requirements for New Zealand depends on WA’s controlled border arrangement and conditions of entry at the time of travel.

The controlled border is based on public health advice and determined the entry and quarantine conditions in WA for each jurisdiction.

Mandatory contact registers are in place for most businesses and venues to assist with contact tracing. When visiting various businesses and venues you are required to check in. The WA Government has developed SafeWA, a digital contact register system that is a free, efficient and safe way to check-in.

What about people who are travelling from New Zealand via another Australian state or territory?

If you transit through another state that is very low risk, there is no requirement to self-quarantine. This is subject to you having not been outside of Australia and/or New Zealand in the previous 14 days

If you are transiting through a state with a higher risk category, there may be various restrictions and requirements - see the Controlled Border page for more information.

Do travellers from NZ still need to complete a G2G PASS to enter WA?

Anyone arriving into WA from overseas or interstate, including returning WA residents, must complete a G2G PASS before travel. 

Do travellers from NZ need to use contact registers in WA?

Yes. Mandatory contact registers are in place to assist businesses and venues with contact tracing. When visiting various businesses and venues you are required to check-in. The WA Government has developed SafeWA, a digital contact register system that is a free, efficient and safe way to check-in, or you can use a paper-based register the venue will provide.

Will arrivals from New Zealand already in quarantine be permitted to leave quarantine on 19 April, even if they haven’t completed the full 14-day quarantine period?

If the jurisdiction you have travelled from transitions from low to very low risk while you are in quarantine in WA, under the WA controlled border arrangement, you are permitted to leave quarantine early as of the date and time specified by WA Police. While you are in quarantine please ensure you follow all directions, dates and times provided to you by WA Police by text message or email via the G2G Pass system.

Can travellers arriving from other countries transit through New Zealand to then enter Australia?

To prohibit border hopping from other countries outside of Australia and New Zealand, arrivals, outside of Australia, entering New Zealand must also complete 14 days of quarantine similar to arrangements in place for international arrivals into Australia. Travellers who manage to transit through New Zealand will be placed in quarantine if they have been in other countries within14 days of arrival into WA.

Will travellers from New Zealand be permitted to enter WA if there’s an outbreak in New Zealand?

Travellers should note WA’s border arrangements are constantly reviewed based on the health situation in the various states and territories as part of WA’s safe and sensible controlled border.

WA’s Chief Health Officer will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation across Australia and New Zealand and will advise the WA Government if any changes to our border are required to keep Western Australians protected.

What happens if there is an outbreak in Australia and I want to return to New Zealand?

Please visit the New Zealand Government website for advice. 

I want to travel to New Zealand – do I use the G2G PASS system?

Please visit the New Zealand Government website for advice.

Quarantine and isolation for interstate and New Zealand travellers

Will I be required to quarantine?

Travellers from ‘low risk’ and exempt travellers from ‘medium risk’ jurisdictions are required to self-quarantine at suitable premises for 14 days upon entry to WA.

If you do not have a suitable premises to self-quarantine at, you will be directed to quarantine in a Government-approved quarantine facility at your own expense.

If you are required to self-quarantine, you’re encouraged to download the G2G Now app. This app supports people subject to self-quarantine directions to prove their compliance with easy, in-app check-ins rather than receiving physical checks by WA Police. See more information on G2G Now.

What is a suitable premises to self-quarantine?

A suitable premises is a location where you and those travelling with you can live for 14 days without putting others at risk. This means:

  • they are suitable for the person to reside in for a period ending fourteen (14) days
  • if the person is required to present for testing, they are close enough to a place where testing can occur in accordance with a direction to enable the person to comply with that direction
  • they enable the person quarantining there to have access to a bedroom, and preferably a bathroom, without the need to share them with any other person who is not also quarantining there
  • food and medication can be delivered to them as required without the need to come into contact with the person quarantining there.

If you do not have a suitable premises to self-quarantine at, you will be directed to quarantine in a Government-approved quarantine facility at your own expense.

If I am self-quarantining, am I permitted to leave at all during this time?

You are only allowed to leave in the case of an emergency and for the purposes of complying with a presentation for testing direction, or any other direction.

See more information about self-quarantine on the Healthy WA website.

If I am self-quarantining at a suitable premises, am I still required to present for testing on Day 11?

Yes, you are required to present for testing on Day 11. You must wear a mask when leaving your self-quarantine premises to present for your test, and travel immediately to and from your testing location.

Are there penalties if I breach self-quarantine requirements?

Yes. WA remains in a State of Emergency, and various restrictions are enforceable by fines of up to $50,000 for individuals and $250,000 for businesses. Police officers also have the power to issue $1,000 infringements.

What happens if I need to leave self-quarantine in an emergency?

If you need to relocate from your registered self-quarantine address due to an emergency (such as a bushfire, flood, etc.) you must update your self-quarantine address by calling Police on 131 444 and advising the call taker you are subject to self-quarantine and need to change address.

If I have been in a ‘low risk’ jurisdiction in the past 14 days, can I still be exempt from 14 days of self-quarantine?

In very limited circumstances, travellers who have been in a ‘low risk’ jurisdiction in the previous 14 days may be granted an exemption from self-quarantine or provided with modified quarantine requirements during their self-quarantine period. These modified requirements might require you to comply with additional conditions, such as wearing a mask while in public or self-quarantining while not working.

If I transit through a ‘low risk’ jurisdiction, will I need to self-quarantine on arrival?

Yes. Currently, if you travel via a low risk jurisdiction, including through a connecting flight, you will be required to self-quarantine on arrival. Only those travelling directly from very low risk jurisdictions (who have not spent any time in the previous 14 days in low risk jurisdictions) can enter WA without self-quarantining.

If I transit through a ‘medium risk’ jurisdiction will I be permitted to enter WA? Will I need to self-quarantine upon arrival?

If you are transiting through a ‘medium risk’ jurisdiction, you require an exemption to enter WA. See the Controlled border page for more information about the ‘medium risk’ category.

I am in self-quarantine. Do I need to stay in quarantine for 14 days if the jurisdiction I travelled from transitions from low to very low risk?

No. If the jurisdiction you have travelled from transitions from low to very low risk while you are in quarantine in WA, under the WA controlled border arrangement, you are permitted to leave quarantine early as of the date and time specified by WA Police. While you are in quarantine please ensure you follow all directions, dates and times provided to you by WA Police by text message or email via the G2G Pass system.

I am in self-quarantine. Do I need still need to get day 11 tested if the jurisdiction I travelled from transitions from low to very low risk before day 11 of quarantine?

No. If the jurisdiction you have travelled from transitions from low to very low risk prior to day 11 of your 14 day quarantine period, you are not required to take a day 11 test. While you are in quarantine please ensure you follow all directions, dates and times provided to you by WA Police by text message or email via the G2G Pass system. You should still get tested for COVID-19 during and/or after quarantine if you experience any COVID-related symptoms.

Do unaccompanied minors have to undertake hotel quarantine?

Unaccompanied minors (under 18 years) arriving from overseas are subject to hotel quarantine (centre direction) and arrangements must be made to have a responsible adult enter the quarantine centre in company with the child. The responsible adult and the minor (under 18) will be subject to undertake hotel quarantine.

When a parent/responsible adult enters the quarantine centre with the minor – a Schedule 3 (Children Requirement) Direction must be issued to the responsible adult to accompany the child into the quarantine centre to be their carer for the duration of the quarantine period.
 
In the event the child is arriving from a restricted location and not from overseas, the unaccompanied child can be collected from the airport by a responsible adult – who will be issued a Schedule 3 (Children Requirement) Direction, which means the adult must self-quarantine in a suitable premises for 14 days and abide by any Presentation for Testing Directions provided.

For more information visit FAQs for carers entering hotel quarantine.

Quarantine and isolation for international arrivals

What quarantine requirements are in place for international arrivals?

If you’re coming from overseas, you'll be subject to the Australian Government's mandatory 14 day quarantine period at the first Australian port of entry.

All international arrivals into WA must quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.

You will be subject to mandatory COVID-19 tests on the day following your arrival in WA, on day 5 of quarantine and on day 13 of quarantine.

This requirement does not apply to travellers entering from New Zealand. Please see our Entering WA from New Zealand section of the Travel to WA page for more information.

Travel to remote communities

Is travel now permitted to remote Aboriginal communities?

Restrictions on entry to most remote Aboriginal communities remain in place to protect the health and wellbeing of those residents. For more information, visit the Remote Aboriginal communities travel page.

Health

What is involved in a health screening at the Perth Airport?

A health screening at Perth Airport involves a series of questions related to symptoms of COVID-19 and a temperature check.

What is involved in a health screening when arriving by land?

A health screening when arriving by land involves a series of questions related to symptoms of COVID-19.

I’ve arrived at Perth Airport from interstate and I don’t have any symptoms, can I be tested?

Yes. All interstate arrivals at Perth Airport can voluntarily undertake a COVID-19 test at the Perth Airport COVID clinic.

If I am tested for COVID-19 upon entry to WA, how long will it take for my test results to come back?

If you have been tested at a COVID clinic, it will take between 2 and 3 days to be notified of your test results and you must self-isolate until your results are returned.

If you have been tested at a private pathology centre or GP clinic, please contact your GP practice or private pathology centre for information about when your test results will arrive.

Masks

Do I need to wear a mask if I am travelling into WA?

All travellers arriving into WA by air need to wear a mask on the flight while in WA airspace, and while inside the airport (with some exceptions – e.g. children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a mask).

For more information, please see Face masks - Frequently asked questions.

What type of mask is acceptable?

You must wear a disposable surgical mask or a fitted cloth mask that covers the nose and mouth (but does not include a face shield). 

Page reviewed 21 June 2021