COVID-19 coronavirus: Controlled interstate border - Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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

Last updated: 6 March 2021 at 2:49pm

 

Controlled border arrangement

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.

What are the current risk categories for states and territories?

Current risk categories are outlined on the Controlled interstate border page.

At what point could the hard border be reintroduced?

The Chief Health Officer will continue to closely monitor community transmission in other states and territories and will advise the WA Government if any changes to our border are required to keep Western Australians protected.

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?

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

However, travellers should note border arrangements are constantly reviewed based on the health situation in each state and territory.

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.

The border arrangements are based on the latest public health advice and are in place to better protect Western Australians.

This arrangement will be regularly reviewed to take into account the health situation in other states and territories. Make sure you check the border arrangements prior to travelling, as health advice can change rapidly.

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, the WA Government will provide for return entry to WA on a compassionate basis and conditional on necessary quarantine arrangements.

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.

The WA Government has the capability to rapidly escalate WA’s contact tracing and testing capabilities as needed, and mandatory contact registers for particular businesses and venues have been reintroduced to assist with this.

The WA Government has wide reaching communication networks and platforms in place to make sure all Western Australians are kept informed of the State’s health status and know what they need to do to keep safe.

Western Australians can help prevent or manage an outbreak by maintaining physical distancing where possible, practising good hygiene, staying at home if unwell and complying with COVID-Safe principles and the latest health advice.

Information for interstate travellers

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

Anyone planning to travel to WA must register to enter, and will be required at the point of entry to be able to confirm that they have completed the declaration and registration process.

If you do not register 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 state or territory 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 state or territory, 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 state or territory before I travel to WA?

The Chief Health Officer will continue to closely monitor community transmission in other states and territories and will advise the WA Government if any changes to WA’s border are required to keep Western Australians protected.

Information for travellers from New Zealand

What about travellers from New Zealand? If they transit through New South Wales, or the Northern Territory to WA, are they permitted to enter? Will they need to self-quarantine?

WA has not joined the travel bubble to allow for New Zealand travellers to visit Western Australia at this time. Arrivals who have spent time in New Zealand in the previous 14 days are required to self-quarantine for 14-days at a suitable premises and present for a COVID-19 test on Day 11 in WA.

In addition to this, from November 14 when the controlled interstate border regime took effect, these travellers must also comply with the outlined conditions for low risk states.

These travellers are encouraged to download the G2G Now app, a tool that supports people subject to self-quarantine directions to prove their compliance with easy, in app check-ins to complement any physical checks by Police. See more information on G2G Now.

All international passengers arriving directly from overseas into WA will remain subject to 14 days of hotel quarantine at their own expense.

I have been in New Zealand and spent 14 days in a very low risk state or territory. Am I still required to self-quarantine when I come to WA if I come after the controlled border takes effect?

From 14 November, if you have spent the past 14 days in a ‘very low risk’ jurisdiction, you are not required to quarantine when you arrive in WA.

I have travelled from New Zealand to a very low risk state and will spend two days there before heading to WA. Am I required to quarantine when I arrive in WA?

Yes, if you have spent any time in New Zealand in the previous 14 days, you will be required to quarantine upon entry to WA. Therefore, if, after travelling from NZ, you have spent less than 14 days in a very low risk state or territory, you will be required to self-quarantine at a suitable premises and present for COVID-19 testing on day 11. If you do not have a suitable premises to self-quarantine, you will be required to quarantine at a WA hotel at your own expense.

I have travelled from New Zealand to a low risk state and will spend two days there before heading to WA. Am I required to quarantine when I arrive in WA?

Yes, if you have spent any time in New Zealand or a low risk state or territory in the previous 14 days, you will be required to quarantine upon entry to WA. Therefore, if you have travelled from NZ to a low risk state and are transiting from there to WA, you will be required to self-quarantine at a suitable premises. If you do not have a suitable premises to self-quarantine you will be required to quarantine at a WA hotel at your own expense.

I have travelled from New Zealand but have spent time in a medium risk jurisdiction . Will I be permitted to enter WA?

Unless you meet the new exemption requirements for travellers from a medium risk state or territory, you will not be permitted to enter WA.

I have travelled directly from New Zealand to WA – what are the quarantine requirements?

If you’re coming directly from overseas (including New Zealand) to WA, you must quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at your own expense and will be subject to a mandatory COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival and on day 12 of quarantine.

Quarantine and isolation for interstate travellers

Will I be required to quarantine?

Quarantine requirements will vary based on where you have travelled over the past 14 days.

Interstate travellers who have only spent time in ‘very low risk’ jurisdictions will not be required to quarantine on arrival to WA or present for testing on Day 11. However, all interstate arrivals from these jurisdictions will need to meet other conditions.

Interstate travellers who have only spent time in a ‘low risk’ jurisdiction will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days at a suitable premises, wear a mask from when they enter WA until they arrive at suitable self-quarantine premises or government approved quarantine facilities and present for testing on Day 11. In addition if travelling by air, they must also 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). A mask must also be worn while travelling to and from the COVID Clinic.

Generally, travellers from ‘medium risk’ jurisdictions who meet new exemption requirements and have an approved G2G PASS must:

  • self-quarantine for 14 days at a suitable premises
  • wear a mask from when they enter WA until they arrive at suitable self-quarantine premises or government approved quarantine facilities. In addition if travelling by air, they must also 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).
  • present for testing within 48 hours of arrival and on Day 11 (a mask must be worn while travelling to and from the COVID Clinic).

Travellers who are required to undertake self-quarantine are encouraged to download the G2G Now app, a tool that supports people subject to self-quarantine directions to prove their compliance with easy, in app check-ins rather than receiving physical checks by 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; and
  • 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; and
  • food and medication can be delivered to them as required without the need to come into contact with the person quarantining there.

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

No. You must remain at the suitable premises at all times unless directed otherwise. You will receive information regarding your requirements under quarantine.

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.

Are there penalties if I breach self-quarantine requirements?

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?

Should travellers need to relocate from their registered self-quarantine address due to an emergency (such as a bushfire, flood, etc.) they must update that self-quarantine address. They should ring Police on 131 444 and advise the call taker they are subject to self-quarantine and need to change address.

I’m arriving into WA from an international location – am I able to travel freely without quarantining?

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

All international arrivals into WA must quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense and will be subject to a mandatory COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival and on day 12 of quarantine.

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 am required to self-quarantine upon my arrival in WA, and the state or territory I am travelling from moves to a ‘very low risk’ classification, will I be permitted to leave self-quarantine early?

Based on the health advice, the small number of recent arrivals from VIC who are serving their 14 days of self-quarantine will be permitted to end their period of quarantine on the same day those states transition to ‘very low risk’. These arrivals who are free to end their quarantine period at 12.01am are not required to undertake a day 11 test, based on the latest health advice.

If I transit through a ‘medium risk’ jurisdiction or knowingly come into contact with someone from a ‘medium risk’ jurisdiction, will I be permitted to enter WA? Will I need to self-quarantine upon arrival?

You will only be able to enter WA if you have:

  • obtained an exemption, and an exempt traveller must self-quarantine for 14-days in a suitable premises
  • wear a mask from when you enter WA until you arrive at suitable self-quarantine premises or government approved quarantine facilities. In addition if travelling by air, you must also 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).
  • present for a COVID-19 test on Day 11 (if you are still in WA). A mask must also be worn while travelling to and from the COVID Clinic.

As well as comply with conditions including:

  • registration prior to travel via G2G Pass, with declaration stipulating you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms and which jurisdictions you have been in over the previous 14 days.
  • a health screening upon entry, including a temperature check at Perth Airport.
  • taking a COVID-19 test at the new Perth Airport COVID Clinic, if you fail the health screening and/or record a high temperature as determined by a health clinician

Arrivals by land will be met at the border checkpoint, to ensure travel is registered.

Does this controlled border arrangement change quarantine requirements for returned overseas travellers?

All overseas arrivals to Western Australia will remain subject to 14-days of hotel quarantine, at their own expense, regardless of the transition to the controlled interstate border.


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 (ie. NSW or NZ via another state or territory) 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.

Restrictions

Does this mean gathering restrictions will be reintroduced if the border is opened?

In Western Australia, we have kept the virus out, which has allowed life in WA to get back to a COVID normal faster than the eastern states, but it does mean we are more susceptible to a serious outbreak.

Currently, in WA we have the 2sqm rule in place, COVID Event Plans and COVID Safety Plans in place to ensure business and communities are doing their part to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. WA has come so far, so it’s more important than ever that we are not complacent.

An outbreak in our community would more than likely result in new restrictions being imposed. The WA Government will continue to review these arrangements to determine if and what COVID-safe solutions are appropriate in the future.

Is the 2 square metre rule still in place?

Yes. The 2 square metre rule is still in place. There are some modifications to the 2 square metre rule for theatres, concert halls, cinemas, comedy lounges, performing art centres with fixed seating, and places of worship that are used for the purposes of formal worship activities.

The 2 square metre rule does remain for sectors and venues where there is a higher risk due to the close proximity and mixing of patrons within indoor spaces.

The WA Government will continue to review these restrictions to determine if COVID-safe solutions are possible in the future.

All Western Australians and businesses are strongly urged to maintain and embrace COVID-safe principles to keep the WA community safe.

Is travel now permitted to remote Aboriginal communities?

No. Restrictions on entry to remote Aboriginal communities remain in place to protect the health and wellbeing of those residents.

Advice for business

Should I update my COVID Safety Plan?

It is recommended businesses review and update their COVID Safety Plans. This ensures COVID-19 risks continue to be mitigated in line with health advice, and safety requirements continue to be met.

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 new 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 should 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.

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

All travellers arriving into WA by air will 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).

Do I need to wear a mask once I leave the airport?

If you have been given a quarantine direction, you must wear a mask when transiting to your place of quarantine or travelling to a COVID clinic to present for testing. Public transport - buses and trains - must not be used.  

Page reviewed 6 March 2021